At the recent International Dairy Deli Bakery Association show in Atlanta, Georgia, 2022 Champions of Change winner Linda Avila and HEB merchandiser Michelle Love share creative and profitable tips for taking your brunch boards "beyond traditional." Effective brunch boards are all about presentation and creativity, according to IDDBA panelists Linda Avila, a 2022 Champions of Change winner, and Michelle Love, HEB merchandiser.

There are so many things you can do with blue cheese now, according to the panelists. And try a little balsamic on top to bring out a slightly different flavor. “Who says it has to be cold," exclaims Linda Avila. Panelists shared data that people want to eat out later in the day and make an experience out of it.

  • Fresh fruit with goat cheese on a baguette? New trends in plating are hot or cold - or both!
  • Incorporate trendy flavors like mango and experiment with different platforms - like a donut.
  • Get exotic with flavor combinations by taking them to the next level. How about a mango habanero cold-packed cheese spread stuffed in fresh raspberries?

Advanced new space

Bake ‘n Joy showcased numerous innovations and recently put the finishing touches on a new facility. Dacon announced that it has completed the design and construction of a 47,000 square-foot facility for IDDBA exhibitor Bake’n Joy Foods in North Andover.  This project entailed the renovation and expansion of an existing 1970s industrial facility.  Operational efficiency, high performance processes, product innovation and safety fueled the design mindset while customizing an environment to accommodate offices, employee support areas, shipping/receiving docks, a cooler corridor, manufacturing, baking, engineering, and conference rooms.  

The US bakery products market remains driven by convenience and accessibility, projected to grow 4.8% annually through 2025, according to industry statistics. The American lifestyle, reflected in the growth of out-of-home consumption of instant and high-quality products, continues to fuel revenue increases.

Among product lines, muffins maintain rapid growth as a popular breakfast and snack food, contributing $812 million to the sector, of which 81% of sales consist of convenient 4-pack clamshells.  Few consider the baking industry’s economic weight, yet within America the wholesale baking sector imparts a distinct influence, generating 764,000 jobs and $154.2 billion in revenue. Between Covid-related labor shortages, transportation, raw material price increases and short supply of critical sub-ingredients, the baking industry faces unprecedented challenges in 2022.

Abraham Ogan, the founder of Bake’n Joy, began the firm amidst war-time practicalities of WWII when corner bakeries were a newcomer to America’s convenience landscape. Operating as the A.E. Ogan Baking Company, he began by selling bread and donut mixes using 1 blender.

An attuned strategist sensitive toward consumer needs, he expanded product lines into mixes / bases for muffins and Danishes while increasing distribution through supermarket and foodservice channels. Now celebrating its 81st year, Bake’n Joy Foods supplies frozen ready-to-bake batters, baked items and dry mixes to wholesale bakeries, healthcare, academic, convenience, hospitality, restaurant and retail clients.   

Bake’n Joy products enable stronger inventory, less waste, consistent quality and lower ingredient costs.   Led by the 3rd and 4th generations, the portfolio spans predeposited frozen muffin and loaf cake batters, scoop batters, coffee cakes, as well as their original dry mixes for donuts, muffins, cakes, fruit squares, cookies, scones and traditional yeast breads. The portfolio consists of 10 brand lines – Kitchen Cupboard, Panfree, Ultra Moist Baking Products, Bake’n Joy Originals, Country Muffin & Cake, Homestyle, Boston Coffee Cake, Freedom Gluten Free, YPL and L&M Bakery acquired in 2021.   

In reflecting on this growth trajectory, Kevin Quinn, Dacon’s CEO reflects “Bake’n Joy’s new production space is fueled by entrepreneurship. Their heritage of ingenuity from WWII through today is seen in their ability to respond to consumer needs.”

Dacon Corporation is a fully integrated design build firm providing comprehensive facility development services to address clients’ unique project requirements. With a process centered on transparency and collaboration, Dacon’s multidisciplinary team is comprised of professionals specializing in architectural design, engineering and construction management. Dacon provides comprehensive building solutions while eliminating the inherent risks of traditional construction processes.

Sandwich carriers

La Brea Bakery, North America’s No. 1 artisan bread brand, announced a number of advancements to its sandwich carriers for the foodservice industry.

“The pandemic has significantly impacted the foodservice industry, and the needs of operators have shifted,” said Brie Buenning, director of marketing for La Brea Bakery. “Operators are looking for product solutions that help address labor constraints and can be used in multiple applications across the menu. When we examined our portfolio, we saw an opportunity to enhance our sandwich carriers to address operators’ changing needs in a challenging environment.”

La Brea Bakery’s new and improved sandwich carriers include the following:

A refreshed assortment of carrier breads including brioche buns, telera rolls and sliders, La Baccia rolls (square and rectangle), sourdough demi baguettes, French demi baguettes, ¼ Focaccia, ciabatta rolls (square and rectangle), and multigrain sliced sandwich bread.

Operators can simplify their inventory to bread products that are versatile enough to be used across the menu and truly meet business needs.

Carriers’ ambient shelf life has increased to four days using natural enzyme technology. Now that carriers can be kept ambient longer, operators can free up freezer space and use bread over several days, decreasing waste and maximizing profits.

Unlike parbaked products, Thaw & Sell bread does not need to be baked before serving, reducing labor, saving time and making La Brea Bakery products easier to use.

And as plant-based diets continue to grow in popularity, operators can trust that La Brea Bakery sandwich carriers (with the exception of Brioche buns and multigrain sliced sandwich bread) are free of all animal products, such as honey or cheese.

“We’re proud to be able to make these changes while maintaining what La Brea Bakery bread is known for: delicious artisan bread made with time and care that elevates any eating experience,” said Buenning.

Aspire Bakeries – parent company to the world-class La Brea Bakery and Otis Spunkmeyer brands – showcased a number of innovations while exhibiting at the 2022 International Dairy Deli Bakery Association (IDDBA) Show, June 5-7 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

“Our team is excited to reconnect with our customers and colleagues in person at IDDBA,” said Christine Prociv, senior vice president of Marketing, Innovation and R&D at Aspire Bakeries.

Features included delicious grilled cheese sandwiches made on La Brea Bakery artisan bread, to delectable Otis Spunkmeyer Gourmet cookies.

La Brea Bakery showcased its expanded Take & Bake artisan bread portfolio, including Rosemary Garlic Focaccia Rolls, Sunflower Turmeric Rolls and more.

Other features included Decadent Classics, Aspire Bakeries’ new line of indulgent cookies, which offers rich flavor and premium ingredients in four varieties including Chocolate Chunk and White Chocolate Macadamia Nut

Attendees enjoyed samples of warm Otis Spunkmeyer Gourmet cookies and delicious grilled cheese sandwiches made with La Brea Bakery artisan bread and discussed industry insights, upcoming trends and more with Aspire Bakeries representatives 

Expanded distribution

IDDBA exhibitor St Pierre Bakery has announced increased distribution with UNFI warehouses in Pittsburgh and Allentown, PA and Quincy, Florida. The warehouses are offering an assortment of St Pierre’s best-selling products including St Pierre Brioche Burger Buns, Seeded Brioche Burger Buns, Brioche Hot Dog Rolls, Brioche Bagels, Brioche Loaf and Brioche Sliders.

St Pierre brought a taste of Paris to IDDBA in Atlanta earlier this month, re-introducing the brand after a three-year hiatus and engaging a new audience with an expanded range of premium products.

The increased distribution via UNFI warehouses has secured a number of new retailers for the brand, including Hitchcock’s Markets – a Florida-based outlet with 11 locations.

As well as gains with UNFI, St Pierre has also added distribution of its Seeded Brioche Burger Buns via SpartanNash and increased its presence in Costco, LA. The news means that America’s number one brioche brand is now available in all 59 Costco warehouses in the LA division.

The retail giant agreed increased distribution through its LA division just three weeks after launching the brand in its original 30 warehouses and has now agreed opportunities for sampling in-store, driving trial of the brioche category leader.

Meanwhile, East Coast retailer, Harris Teeter has launched St Pierre Seeded Brioche Burger Buns and the brand’s most recent innovation, Brioche Bagels, alongside the rest of the St Pierre range. The new product additions are securing increased distribution through the Harris Teeter portfolio week-on-week, in order to maximize sales through key summer months.

“At the end of last year we invested heavily in building our stock supply to ensure we maintain our stellar fill rates and deliver for our customers throughout their busiest times,” said David Wagstaff, vice president North America, St Pierre Bakery. “We knew that the opportunity justified the investment, but driving distribution is key to realising it.”

The St Pierre brand is in positive growth across 52-, 26- and 12-week periods and maintains the largest share of the branded brioche market according to Nielsen (XAOC week-ending 26th March 2022).

“We have a recently expanded sales team on the ground in America and they are working incredibly hard to deliver fantastic results whilst maintaining the impeccable service standards for which St Pierre has become known,” Wagstaff adds. “We’ve also doubled marketing investment in 2022 and that is aiding conversations across the country with new buyers, brokers and retailers. The entire team is looking forward to a hugely successful grilling season.”