Food & Drink International - Winter 2017, Volume 2 - 61
Lesaffre Yeast Corp.
try as much as possible to have proximity to our customers,"
As a family-owned company, Lesaffre can take a longer
view of the market and better adjust to changing food trends.
Better dietary awareness and a move away from gluten has
impacted sales for traditional breads. At the same time, food
quality and natural trends such as clean label have become
more prominent, creating room for new kinds of breads to
thrive. "While we see in some categories bread consumption
not increasing, we also see a trend toward artisanal products," Brenner says.
Much of the problem-solving Lesaffre has done in the past
few years has centered on clean label. Customers are working toward using more natural and organic ingredients. As
they remove artificial components from their formulas, they
need help developing substitutes that will result in a similar
Lesaffre has responded to the demand for more natural
ingredients by expanding its lineup of Saf-Pro and Red Star
products to include replacers for common bread additives
and perishable ingredients. With Saf-Pro, Lesaffre uses yeast
and natural enzymes to improve the dough to add flavor and
enhance processing, making it a suitable alternative to artificial reducing agents and sulfites. Other Lesaffre products
replace additives to reduce staling or inhibit mold growth to
extend shelf life. "We actually can offer products that are
made of yeast that do the same job," Brenner says.
To support its move into clean label and organic products,
Lesaffre is expanding its facility in Cedar Rapids, where it
produces both active and inactive yeast derivatives. The expansion, which will be completed in early 2018, will enable
the company to formulate and blend baking ingredients, while
bringing over some products it is already manufacturing in
Europe to be closer to North American customers. Those
products include natural mold inhibitors and yeast types that
extend the shelf life of bread or improve the performance of
dough. Having that production capability in North America
improves Lesaffre's responsiveness to its customers. "The
main purpose of that facility is to bring new products to market," Brenner notes.
The facility isn't necessarily aimed at expanding Lesaffre's customer base; rather, it will improve the resources the
company can offer its existing clients. "To be a good yeast
provider, we've had to develop a lot of technical expertise in
our customers' products," Brenner says. "This leverages that
expertise and those relationships, and offers more solutions
to the existing customer base."
food & drink international * winter 2017 volume 2 * www.fooddrink-magazine.com