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Bread & Grain Trends

Insights, Innovation and Market News


Gourmet Australian Bakery Arrives In The Big Apple

After 14 years, Australia’s Bourke Street Bakery (Surry Hills) is expanding beyond Down Under, establishing an outpost in midtown Manhattan. Slated to open in late January, the newest incarnation follows establishment of 12 stores in the Sydney area. The bakery is known for its stretchy sourdough, ginger crème brulee tarts, sandwiches, gourmet sausage rolls, and good coffee. Co-founder and chef Paul Allam says he will tweak the offerings to suit an American market: there will be no meat pies, but there will be pumpkin pies, pecan tarts, peanut butter and jam croissants, along with their famous ginger tarts and sausage rolls. A blackboard will list times that fresh loaves come out of the oven. The Manhattan store will open in the midst of a fortuitous trend: a host of Australian-run cafes, bakeries and coffee shops has opened recently, riding a wave of American interest in Australia's bright, colorful, Instagrammable breakfasts and cafe culture.[Image Credit: © Bourke Street Bakery]


App-Driven SnackBot Matriculates At California University

PepsiCo has introduced the first snack delivery robots in the U.S. that provide “great-tasting, healthier snacks and beverages” to college students. The new all-wheel drive “snackbots,” with a 20-mile range on a single charge, arrived at the University of the Pacific (Stockton, Calif.) stocked with snacks and beverages from PepsiCo’s Hello Goodness line, including Smartfood Delight, Baked Lay's, SunChips, Pure Leaf Tea, bubly, LIFEWTR, and Starbucks Cold Brew. The Hello Goodness vending platform, including the snackbot, will be available at 50,000 touchpoints by the end of the year, according to PepsiCo. Users at University of the Pacific can order food and drinks from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., via the snackbot app, to be delivered to more than 50 designated spots across the 175-acre campus.[Image Credit: © Robby Technologies Inc]

Company Promises New BreadBot Will Boost Baking Profit At Retail Grocers

The family-owned Wilkinson Baking Company unveiled its BreadBot at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this month. The machine goes “from flour to loaf all on its own,” according to company, and produces loaves that are “fresher, healthier, preservative free and eco-friendly.” The BreadBot mixes, forms, proofs, bakes, and cools ten loaves of bread per hour. It can make most varieties of bread that require dry ingredients, including white, wheat, whole wheat, nine grain, sourdough, and honey oat. Time to first completed loaf is 90 minutes, with new loaves produced every six minutes, up to a maximum of 235 loaves a day. The company claims that retailers using the BreadBot will realize a 20-fold lift in bottom line profits through cost reductions. [Image Credit: © Wilkinson Baking Company]

Impossible Foods Tinkers Successfully With Its Plant-Based Meats

Impossible Foods, producer of plant-based meat replacements, including hamburger patties (Beyond Burger), has tinkered with its popular formula, replacing textured wheat protein with soy protein concentrate, reduced salt, substituted sunflower oil for coconut oil to reduce saturated fat, and ditched konjac gum and xanthan gum. According to the company, taste tests determined that the new formula “matches conventional beef burgers when it comes to likeability.” Other new ingredients (not in the original versions) include modified food starch and methylcellulose (which are also used in the plant-based Beyond Burger), the preservative cultured dextrose, vitamin C, and vitamin E.[Image Credit: © Impossible Foods Inc.]

Australia Sees Profit Potential In Legume Known As Lupins

A growing number of companies in West Australia are capitalizing on the nutritional benefits of the legume seed of the lupinus genus, the popular flowering plants known as lupins. The seeds are gluten-free, low carb, and rich in protein, amino acids, and prebiotics (i.e., fiber). An example of the phenomenon is a former chef who has been making lupin granola for almost three years. He buys lupin flakes, mixes them with nuts, grains and seeds, and roasts them in a slow oven, creating a nutritious, tasty granola. The lupin granola is used as a base in protein bars and slices, and there's a chia pudding topped with it. Eighty-five percent of the world's lupins are grown in West Australia.[Image Credit: © Coastal Crunch]

Marijuana Compounds – And Zero-Waste Cooking – Loom Large In Eatery Trends

According to new research from the National Restaurant Association, plant-based ingredients, including cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD), and zero-waste cooking will be the hottest overall culinary trends of 2019. Seventy-seven percent of the survey’s 650 professional chef respondents identified cannabis/CBD-infused drinks as the No. 1 trend; 76 percent tapped cannabis/CBD-infused food as the second most popular trend. Association officials, however, stressed that cannabis and CBD are federally controlled substances and laws governing their use vary from state to state. They urged restaurant operators to follow all laws when selling or using those items. By the way, third on the list of overall trends was zero-waste cooking, which calls for chefs and restaurateurs to reduce the amount of food waste created during the preparation of menu items to keep it out of landfills. [Image Credit: © Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay]

French Patisserie Continues U.S. Expansion Strategy

French patisserie Le Macron French Pastries plans to establish more than 20 new locations in “targeted” areas in the New York metropolitan area over the next five years. The company has more than 50 locations in the U.S.; it is looking to grow through “smart franchise partnerships and tactical site selection.” The new locations will be in Manhattan, Williamsburg (Brooklyn), and Staten Island. "As a prime state for expansion, especially with our versatile mobile cart franchise opportunity, we look forward to increasing our footprint … with franchise partners to help give all New York residents access to our little bites of heaven known as macarons," said CEO Rosalie Guillem. Franchise opportunities include kiosks, mobile carts, and express locations. [Image Credit: © Le Macaron]

Market News

Trends: 2019’s Brave New World Of Eating

Food world prognosticators are hard at work at this time of year. Some of the more notable forecasts for 2019 include: the rise of “celtuce,” a lettuce with a leafy, bitter top and a stalk that’s a cross between celery and asparagus; sour and funky flavors arising from the interest in fermentation; cheese tea – green or black tea sipped through a cap of cream cheese blended with cream; more foods with probiotics and prebiotics to improve the bacterial health of the intestinal tract; diets that emphasize fat – read “keto” – over carbohydrates, and “pegan” – a cross between a paleo and a vegan diet; foods containing marijuana compounds like THC and cannabidiol; cooking dinner in foil packets; and, in the spirits world, lighter wines, natural wines and drinks with less or no alcohol.[Image Credit: © Sharon Ang]


New Processes Make Eating Bread Less Of A Guilty Pleasure

Among the predicted trends in Jewish cuisine in 2019 – tahini, faux meat, marijuana-derived compounds, Polish comfort foods like pierogies, etc. – is the declaration that “bread is back.” Facebook research on food trends confirms that bread has returned  and is better than ever. Naturally-fermented breads like sourdough are considered good for your gut and overall health, especially those made with whole grains. Innovative bread making techniques now include “slow carb baking,” or slow natural fermenting, which creates breads with lower glycemic indexes (GI) and with increased bioavailability of nutrients. The result? Less guilt about eating bread every day: “Make an extra challah, or even try making your own rye bread.”[Image Credit: © Monika Baechler from Pixabay]
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