The world of retail bakery is turning an innovative corner, as new product innovations from leading suppliers promise to drive consumer demand to new heights.

Bridor has expanded its specialty food portfolio with the launch of an exciting new bread line. Created in partnership with Chef Sébastien Canonne, the Boulangerie Cuisinée concept combines the three arts of gastronomy and nourishing ingredients in five Pains Cuisinés that engage all five senses. With this locally created product line, Bridor answers to a growing health consciousness and desire for new tastes, textures, and flavor combinations. Pains Cuisinés are the first product line under the Boulangerie Cuisinée brand.      

“Our sandwich breads are very different. The biggest thing I wanted was to create a bread that was sexy,” explains Sébastien Canonne, founder of the French Pastry School in Chicago and a Meilleur Ouvrier de France (M.O.F.) “It has a very thin crispy crust and a soft crumb.”

The flavors are unique, in which three core ingredients are married to bring about a unique taste sensation. And there is a health focus that serves as a key component of the equation.

Each of the five Pains Cuisinés is inspired by different global cuisines. The three main signature flavors of each recipe clearly define the unique taste, texture, and smell of the breads, including:

  • Spinach, roasted garlic, and turmeric breads - inspired by European and Indian flavors
  • Red beets, oat groats, and onion breads - inspired by Nordic European flavors
  • Sweet potatoes, curry, and flax seeds breads - inspired by Indian flavors
  • Olives, hazelnuts, and yuzu breads - inspired by Mediterranean and Asian flavors
  • Purple carrots, celery root, and sesame seeds - inspired by Asian and Scandinavian flavors

Canonne emphasizes that they sought to create a clean recipe, with the shortest list of simple ingredients. There is a very different balance of ingredients. It changes the crust and crumb. This bread can easily last from three to four days at room temperature.

“The process started with a conversation outlining the roadmap of what we wanted,” he adds.

A few years ago in Lyon, France, he met with Bridor and “really started talking about the boulangerie. We were looking at innovation, in comparison to pastry.”

At the time, Canonne believed that the bread sector had not achieved the same visual and flavor innovation for consumers, as compared to what was transpiring with pastries. They examined what may be lacking in traditional breads: lack of color, lack of vegan ingredients, lack of fermentation.

“I’m like a kid in a candy store,” Canonne says. “It’s the visual appeal, as well as the amazing flavors. They (Bridor) really liked our conversation. Let’s go to work and see what we can do.”

Coupled with these goals, he added that in the past decade a wave of people are feeling guilty about eating too many carbs.

“Slowly by following that roadmap, I organically focused on appealing to all five of the senses.

We would create flavors and textures that would change what traditional bread is all about,” he says. “And through this process, I very much looked into what would make these breads healthier. I started to slowly put the puzzle pieces coming together.”

The eye-catching, flavorful and nutritious Pains Cuisinés are more than just a carrier for other foods. The bold global flavors create a rich, emotional culinary experience and the perfect base for premium creations. The recipes are vegan and clean with a short list of simple ingredients and no artificial colorants, additives or preservatives. The unique combination of ingredients—including superfoods like spinach, flax seed, and garlic—and refined French processes that do not degrade the color or olfactory sensation of the bread come together for strongly appealing products with truly enriching tastes.

“Since the day I partnered with Bridor to bring the idea of this unique concept to life, we put our heart and soul into crafting this first innovative and inspiring bread product line, the Pains Cuisinés,” Canonne says. “Driven by our common passion to give a new meaning, purpose and use to breads and all its applications, it took us years of hard work and dedication to create these bold flavors, thin crust, and soft crumb balanced recipes – each one inspired by a different ethnic cuisine, always following the same aim to delight all five senses for the creation of truly memorable dining moments with every bite.”

The Pains Cuisinés enable creative recipe development and responsible consumption with multiple product applications that support Zero Loss, from breadbaskets to sandwiches, paninis, croutons, and breadcrumbs. The product line is tailored for high-end restaurants, cafés, catering companies, hotels, cruise lines, specialty retailers, and deli stores. The Pains Cuisinés are available for distribution by all Bridor partners. They are available nationwide in the U.S.

Creative crepes

Many other bakeries are following similar paths through innovation and dedication to changing consumer needs.

The St Pierre Bakery brand continues to sweep America, announcing its latest expansion in securing a place on the shelves of Walmart’s full 4500 store estate. From July 23, St Pierre Bakery 6 Chocolate and Hazelnut Rolled Crepes will be available in all Walmart stores across the United States. Walmart will be stocking a 6-pack of the family favorite, retailing at $2.98. The product will also be the first to launch in St Pierre’s new-look branding, featuring a new stand-out logo and nods to its French authenticity but with the same instantly recognizable orange packaging.

Paul Baker, founder of St Pierre Bakery explains, “When we launched in the United States in 2014, securing national distribution with Walmart was an ambitious target to say the least. Once again, the sustained hard work of the St Pierre Bakery team has proven fruitful but this achievement also speaks to the outstanding quality of our products.

In an exclusive conversation with Bake magazine, Baker continues that, “as a business, we are advocates for consumer insight. We develop products in partnership with retailers, once we have identified a consumer demand. That way, the ‘sell’ is easier – whether that is in to stores or direct to consumer.

“Last year, we launched a Brioche Star as a seasonal product, with Kroger. We know that the festive season is an occasion where people look to impress guests and add a little sparkle to their menu. We identified the need and then presented it to Kroger. Recognizing the need, identifying the features and communicating the benefits is key to any marketing campaign, no matter who your audience is.”

Part of what St Pierre Bakery does as a brand is present its products with ideas for usage, Baker says.

“Brioche is perfectly suited to the American palette as it’s rich and sweet, but there is a degree of education beyond brand-building – it’s about making it simple for consumers to use and enjoy,” he says. “Campaigns that have specifically catered to key events in the calendar have really helped to drive awareness and trial. Most recently, we ran a multichannel campaign to support Superbowl. Putting our products in the context of a recognizable occasion really resonated with shoppers. The other part of that, of course, is ensuring that any campaigns work across multiple platforms.

For the Super Bowl, St. Pierre ran in-store promotions and targeted social media campaigns. They also looked at cross-merchandising opportunities – situating products in the meat fixtures, for example, to communicate usage. The campaign garnered a 26 percent uplift in unit sales on the same period last year. It also encouraged increased distribution thanks to retailer engagement.

“Consistency is what makes a campaign effective,” Baker says. “What your brand is saying on social should align with what you have in media titles, on advertising across billboards and what customers see in-store. We are trying to impact the purchase decision and the best way to do this is to present the best parts of your brand, or brand story at every consumer touchpoint.”

Knowing your audience is so important, he adds. Some brands don’t invest in the level of research required to make a campaign effective.

“But unless you know the audience who will be receptive to your messaging, then you’re going to find it more difficult to reach them,” he points out. “However, the appeal of St Pierre products is broad, so learning that we can’t be all things to all people has been a lesson in itself.  As an international business, we understand that America is vast – focusing in on areas where we have presence means that we have a lot less wastage.

“We have a huge focus on measurement, to understand how to constantly improve,” Baker continues. “We look at a range of different metrics, including sentiment, brand tracking and ‘relevance’ in terms of our distribution. That allows our teams to firstly, establish what success looks like – with KPIs agreed before campaign work begins and then to report on learnings and what we would do differently next time.”

Equipment applications

On the equipment front, Reiser’s Vemag is a single machine that incorporates a number of innovative attachments to produce a variety of different bakery products. Its modular construction allows the Vemag to be configured for virtually any application and easily reconfigured as the application or requirements change.

The Vemag’s housing is constructed entirely of stainless steel. Smooth surfaces prevent accumulation of product residues. The double-screws can be quickly removed. The entire product path is 100% accessible for easy cleaning and inspection. The electronics system of the Vemag is protected with a “box-in-box” design to make it absolutely impervious to water.

The Vemag Bar Extruder is a highly versatile and precise portioner that allows bakers to produce bars of all types, shapes and sizes. Benefits include exact-weight portioning; consistent thickness, width and length with square ends; gently handles dough; large inclusions (whole nuts, chocolate chunks, dried fruit) are not damaged or crushed; fast, easy changeovers between shapes; and ideal for all types of energy bars, nutrition bars, and cookie bars.

Delicious donuts

The name Quarkbällchen may be unfamiliar to an American audience, but not for long. These donut balls have long been a popular treat in Germany, and with the new Quarkbällchen Mix from Eurogerm USA, bakeries in the U.S. will have an easy way to make these tasty treats.

Quarkbällchen are donut balls, fried and rolled in granulated sugar, but with a unique texture and taste. This comes from the addition of quark, a kind of silky cheese with a texture similar to yogurt or sour cream. Though the dough is usually formed into balls the shape and size of donut holes, the dough can be used for any shape donuts.

Rick Gizzi, sales director at Eurogerm USA, described the unique taste and texture after trying the mix. “The donut has a crispy style exterior and a soft, almost spongy interior. The flavor is a perfect blend of egg and vanilla, with the tartness of the cheese.” Gizzi went on to say, “The eating quality was quite unique. Breaking through the crispy outer layer only to find the soft, spongy interior left my palate wanting more.”

To help US bakeries who want to start offering this amazing product, Eurogerm USA has formulated a mix that only requires the addition of water and cheese. More traditional bakeries may seek out quark, but it can also be made just as easily with cream cheese, or other similar substitutes.

“We fully expect to see these appearing all over the U.S. soon,” says Ben Kansakar, chief executive officer of Eurogerm USA. “They taste amazing, everyone loves to eat them, and our mix makes them very easy for bakeries to produce.”