Bread & Grain Trends

Insights, Innovation and Market News

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U.K. Start-Up Recognized For Low-Carb Bread Dough



A British food technology start-up that invented a low-carb bread alternative was recently certified as “reduced carb” by Sugarwise, an international certification authority for sugar claims on food and drink. Manchester-based Lo-Dough was awarded the certification because its products have no more than 10 percent of calories coming from free sugars, and no more than five grams of free sugars per 100 grams. Lo-Dough has recipes for low-carb pizzas, pies, desserts and pastries.[Image Credit: © Sugarwise]

Restaurant Bases Expansion Plans On Success Of Its “Doughboys”

Saratoga Springs (N.Y.) restaurant Esperanto has signed wholesale distribution deals to bring its popular “doughboy” cheese-and-chicken-stuffed pockets to convenience stores, entertainment venues, and college campuses. The restaurant says it already sells hundreds of thousands of doughboys a year and is planning to acquire more space so it can ramp up production to more than a million. Expansion began when convenience store chain Stewart’s Shops started carrying the product in 12 of its stores. Doughboys contain sautéed diced chicken breast, cheeses, and scallions baked in pizza dough. Gluten-free and vegetarian versions are available as well. Says owner William Pouch: “People are going nuts over the product."[Image Credit: © Esperanto Restaurant]

Indiana Bakery Chain Debuts Vegetable Breads

Saratoga Springs (N.Y.) restaurant Esperanto has signed wholesale distribution deals to bring its popular “doughboy” cheese-and-chicken-stuffed pockets to convenience stores, entertainment venues, and college campuses. The restaurant says it already sells hundreds of thousands of doughboys a year and is planning to acquire more space so it can ramp up production to more than a million. Expansion began when convenience store chain Stewart’s Shops started carrying the product in 12 of its stores. Doughboys contain sautéed diced chicken breast, cheeses, and scallions baked in pizza dough. Gluten-free and vegetarian versions are available as well. Says owner William Pouch: “People are going nuts over the product."[Image Credit: © Esperanto Restaurant]

Donut Monster Entrepreneur Puts Experience As A Chef To Work

An alumnus chef from Milwaukee’s Ardent restaurant has built a business by building a better doughnut to please his – at the time – eight-months pregnant wife. Former chef de cuisine at Ardent, Jackie Lee Woods applies his knowledge, experience and good taste to his doughnut business, dubbed Donut Monster. Woods looks for ingredients (many of them organic) that meet his standards, then tests and retests recipes. The business sells three basic styles of doughnut: old-fashioned, cake, and yeast, with a richer brioche-like dough. The rest of the product line is built on those basics. Current flavors include cherry cheesecake, lemon-butter glaze, and peanut butter and jelly with a Concord grape glaze and peanut butter buttercream filling. ][Image Credit: © Donut Monster (Milwaukee]

College Friends Create Winning Recipe For Low-Sugar, High-Protein Doughnut


Doughnut-loving alumni of the University of Texas have launched a company whose mission is to market a delicious but low-sugar, gluten-free, keto-friendly, and protein-rich doughnut. Elite Sweets’ founders were either studying sports management or playing football, and all shared a passion for doughnuts – healthful ones if possible – and a dream of entrepreneurship. They developed the basic recipe in 2017, and since then have come up with four flavors that are sold online and in several Austin shops. All of their offerings are low in sugar: the cinnamon sugar version, said to be the most popular, contains two grams of sugar and 17 grams of protein.[Image Credit: © Elite Sweets]

Pizza Chain Debuts Cheese-Stuffed “Dough Knots”

National pizza chain Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza has introduced what it calls a “modern twist on traditional breadsticks.” Dough Knots are made-to-order and hand-stretched, filled with mozzarella, garlic, and pesto, baked and served with a red sauce. Available at the chain’s 270 locations in the U.S. and Canada, Dough Knots are offered in orders of two or four. They can also be purchased at $1.95 for 2 and $2.95 for 4. To promote the new item, the company is giving away more than two million Dough Knots. Customers enrolled in Blaze's loyalty mobile app or email programs will receive two free Dough Knots with the purchase of any pizza. [Image Credit: © Blaze Pizza LLC]

“Frankenfoods” Stitch Together Fast Food Items That Customers Already Love

Reporter Paul R. La Monica says the trend toward “Frankenfoods” – “gimmicky culinary concoctions” – began eight years ago (“arguably”) with KFC’s calorie-packed Double Down sandwich comprising bacon, cheese, and sauce held together by two pieces of fried chicken instead of bread. The trend continues today, the latest example being the Dunkin' Donuts contrivance known as donut fries: crispy pieces of doughnut dough dusted with cinnamon sugar and served in a French fries-style box. Other examples include Burger King's Whopperito, Mac and Cheetos, Nacho Fries, Doritos Locos Tacos, bacon shakes, and chicken rings. More are on the way. The idea, La Monica notes, is “to generate buzz with creations that often combine things people already like.”[Image Credit: © Dunkin’ Donuts]

Flourishing Remote Bakeries In Maine Symbolize The State’s “Work Ethic”

People looking for quality baked goods are not daunted by out-of-the-way bakery locations. Robin Chase of Whitefield, Maine, is a classic example of that truism. After spending 40 years baking and selling her wares at local farmers markets, she opened a retail bakery shop in the old milk room in her barn. A display case there is packed with Danish pastry, bars, cookies, doughnuts, pies and loaves of bread. Customers are more than happy to search out the Chase Farm Bakery. According to a Maine economic development official, it’s something of a tradition in “a small-business state” teeming with “literally tens of thousands of examples” of flourishing home-based enterprises. “It's a sign of a strong economy and a sign of Maine's work ethic," says Douglas Ray. [Image Credit: © Chase Farm Bakery]

Eco-Friendly And Healthful: Nutrition Bar Dough Is A Product For Our Times

Two twenty-something friends who attended rival colleges in Iowa launched a start-up (in Colorado) that makes bake-your-own nutrition bar dough packaged in eco-friendly recyclable tubs. The tubs are meant to help reduce waste associated with protein and nutrition bar wrappers often made from plastic foil or plastic-infused paper. Customers of Unwrapp’d will eventually be able to return the jars to the company to be refilled instead of recycled. The dough comes in four flavors – cookie dough, peanut butter chocolate chip, mint chocolate, and banana nut muffin – enough in each refrigerated tub for 20 1/2-ounce portions or seven bars for $9.99. Ingredients include dates and nuts like cashews, almonds, walnuts, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, and coconut flour. The tubs stay fresh for five months in the fridge, but founders Reed McIntyre and Tom Miner say eating it at room temperature is just fine. Register][Image Credit: © Unwrapp'd | Des Moines (Iowa]

Whole Grains Make A Healthful Salad Topper

Whole grains – including ancient grains like barley, farro, and quinoa – are not just for baking, according to food writer Diane Peterson. They make healthful additions to salads because they boost fiber and protein in their diet, and help diners feel full longer, lose weight and ward off disease. They are, in fact, “a tasty way to add flavor and a nice chew to summer salads.” The chef at Zoftig restaurant in Santa Rosa, Calif., uses only organic whole grains – brown rice, semi-pearled farro from Italy and white quinoa from Peru – in salads as well as in the popular Korean burrito wrap. A Middle Eastern-style Maccabi Bowl [left] features housemade hummus, smoky baba ganoush, and a beet dip served with whole-wheat chips, olives and tabbouleh made not with bulgur wheat but Italian farro, mixed together with the traditional blend of cucumber, herbs, parsley, green onions, olive oil and vinegar. ][Image Credit: © John Burgess | The Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, Calif.]

Calif. Bakeries Feature Mexican-American Desserts

Two new California bakeries are offering smaller, single-serve Mexican-American desserts along with their usual wedding and birthday cakes. Fresno’s Callejas Cakes specializes in cakes of all kinds – tres leches, German chocolate, red velvet, champagne, etc. – but also tiramisu, cheesecake slices, Danishes with all kinds of fillings, cannoli, and many different cookies: butter, crunchy pink strawberry, Mexican wedding cookies and rugelach: triangular rolls of cream cheese dough filled with apple or raspberry. Also in Fresno is Mi Panaderia La Michoacana, which sells a variety of Mexican foods and pastries, as well as gelatinas: cakes with multiple layers of gelatine with green and pink Jello-o cubes suspended with fruit. [Image Credit: © The Fresno Bee | Bethany Clough]

Does Adding Fiber To A Brownie Make It More Healthful Than A Peach?

As the FDA continues to review health claims related to added fiber, and continues to approve ingredients that boost fiber content, critics wonder whether food companies are distorting notions of what’s really healthful. The founder of the candy company Smart Sweets said its fiber-laden gummy bears are a way for people to "feel good about enjoying candy." The trend got started when the agency ruled in 2016 rule that added fibers need to provide a health benefit beyond just adding a non-digestible carbohydrate. Though the FDA recently rejected two fiber ingredient petitions, it approved eight that can be counted as fiber. The consumer advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest says added fiber creates situations where, for example, a consumer might choose a brownie over a peach because the brownie might have more fiber. [Image Credit: © ESHA.com]

Bimbo Debuts Organic Varieties Of Top Bread Brands In U.S.

Bimbo Bakeries USA has introduced organic varieties of its top commercial bread brands – Arnold, Brownberry, and Orowheat – that fulfill emerging clean label standards. The breads are USDA-certified organic and Non-GMO Project Verified, and contain no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors, no high fructose corn syrup and zero trans fat. Available nationwide in 27-oz packages, each loaf contains a blend of flaxseed, chia and ancient grains. According to an Organic Trade Association survey, organic bread ranks as the sixth largest organic category; consumer demand for organic options is at an all-time high. [Image Credit: © Bimbo Bakeries USA]

Cronut Inventor’s Latest Creation Is Shaped Like A Shot Glass


Dominique Ansel, N.Y.-based inventor of the croissant-doughnut hybrid known as the cronut, has come up with a new treat that may rival the popularity of that durable dessert. The cookie shot requires two hands: one to pour in the Tahitian vanilla milk and one to hold the palm-size chocolate chip cookie shaped like a shot glass. The milk is cold-infused with vanilla beans for 24 hours; the “shot glass” cookie comes cold, making it easy to eat. A London bakery says it is selling “hundreds” of the treats. It is, according to food writer Morwenna Ferrier, “the cuteification of an adult thing, the shot glass” and “a power move” to make something "bad" into something good. [Image Credit: © Nan Palmero | Flickr]

Pizza Goes Ethnic – Beyond Italian, That Is

Trends in pizza making are following trends in ethnic cooking inspired by the increasing popularity of global cuisines. The new varieties inevitably ignite arguments between purists and innovators about what toppings are appropriate. Especially popular among the new experiments – at least in the Fresno, Calif. area –are pizzas inspired by Indian and Mexican cooking, such as carne asada and carnitas pizza drenched in hot sauce. Indian style pies include tandoori chicken masala, curry veggie pies, and butter chicken. The pizzas avoid traditional red sauces, opting instead for curry sauce, butter chicken sauce, pesto sauce and other varieties. Among national pizza chains dabbling in ethnic offerings is Chicago’s Pizza With A Twist with more than 30 locations nationwide. On the menu are 16 traditional pizzas and 18 Indian-style pizzas, including chicken tikka masala and butter chicken, both topped with ginger, garlic, green chillies, and fresh cilantro. ][Image Credit: © Javence Pizza (Fresno, Calif.]

Confection Industry Struggles With Snacking Surge Driven By Younger Consumers

Snack industry research finds that younger generations are driving robust sales and innovation in snacking. Big confectionery brands are feeling the impact as consumer tastes shift from conventional snacks toward other newer options, including organic. The big brands are also feeling the heat from private label (store) brands. But a key force operating against Big Confectionery is Amazon – “the endless shelf,” as one industry expert calls it – which caters to the demands of Millennials and Gen Z consumers through its Wickedly Prime and Whole Foods 365 Everyday brands. The online retailer sold $518 million worth of snacks in 2017. Meanwhile, younger consumers are expected to keep up their snacking habits as they age, with per capita snacking at meal times expected to rise by 12 percent. ]

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