Baking & Snack - June 2016 - 54


Turning ciabatta into an artisan snack
One way to increase bread consumption is to
target the snacking occasion. Canadian baker
Boulart has done that by rolling out ciabatta
bites, an off-shoot of the brand's best-selling
product, the ciabatta baguette.
"We noticed that one of the most prevalent
trends of the past few years has been snacking, and we wanted to find a way to make
our bread available in single-sized snacking portions," said Michel Saillant, Boulart
founder and CEO.
The Lachine, QC-based baker said the bites
retain the flavor of artisanal ciabatta bread
with a crisp crust and moist interior. At the
National Restaurant Association show in May,
the bites received a FABI award for product
innovation. Additionally, Boulart claims to be
the first industrial artisan bakery to offer a
complete line of non-GMO products.

Made from Fortuna wheat,
a non-GMO, single-origin
heirloom grain, new artisan
breads by La Brea Bakery
target consumers looking
for something more wholesome and natural.
ARYZTA/La Brea Bakery

of sandwiches and snacks sold through c-stores, quality
fresh-baked breads can deliver a premium experience
with little labor and infrastructure change," he observed.
Identifying the latest hot product in the fickle frozen
and par-baked bread market can be a tricky proposition,
especially with foodservice chefs often seeking customized signature breads to delineate their menu from the
competition. "Pretzel rolls seem to have cooled off as
many of the QSR burger chains have opted for newer
items like brioche," Mr. Smiley noted. "That said, brioche also seems to have plateaued."
Meanwhile, sales of ciabatta breads and rolls, which
had dipped in recent years, seem to be making a comeback, according to Mr. Kolinski. The company's cheese
breads remain extremely popular as do products containing an assortment of seeds, spices and grains. EuroBake's multigrain Farmhouse Country Loaf, for instance,
contains a multitude of ingredients, including flaxseed,
banana chips, apple pieces and toasted soy grits.
"Customers continue to look for something that differentiates their 'artisan bread offerings' from the competitor down the street," Mr. Kolinski said. "We see this
as an opportunity to be creative by adding inclusions in
the bread loaf category. As far as rolls are concerned, we
also like to offer rolls with inclusions but to give different shapes whenever possible - especially in our assortments, which is one of the categories that we do very
well in."
Mr. Vierhile pointed out seasonal flavors have gained
a larger footprint among packaged breads and rolls.

54 Baking & Snack June 2016 /

"Pumpkin spice has been huge the past two fall seasons,
and it seems like there is more potential for seasonal flavors and/or limited-time flavors like red velvet, which
add an element of indulgence to bread," he said.
The seasonal trend also extends to the in-store bakery channel as well as in special displays throughout the
store designed to increase impulse sales during holiday
periods. "We are always at the forefront of developing
exciting recipes and flavor profiles from La Brea Bakery
such as the limited-time-offering bread we will be selling
this holiday season to creations like our naan or awardwinning gluten-free line," Mr. Brimacombe observed.
For bakers looking to push the envelope, Mr. Vierhile
suggested keeping an eye on breads and rolls that avoid
the use of wheat or any other grains. "It sounds really
difficult to pull off, but we are seeing a few innovations
like a coconut wrap product," he explained. "Almond
flour is another ingredient to watch with breads made
from it instead of wheat flour. It is really a niche right
now, but it may be starting to break out a little bit, based
on the strength of the gluten-free and paleo trends."
For par-baked and frozen baked goods, the bottom
line - in more ways than one - involves leveraging
emerging trends by providing bakery customers with
new products relevant to today's consumers who are
looking for new ways to live a good life.
As Mr. Brimacombe explained, "Retailers recognize
that the consumer is savvier than ever and understands
that good food is healthy food versus counting calories
on every food label."


Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Baking & Snack - June 2016