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Bread & Grain Trends

Insights, Innovation and Market News


“Bread Nerd” Uses Yeast Dormant For Eons To Bake “Incredible” Loaves Of Bread

Self-professed “bread nerd” Seamus Blackley, one of the developers of the Xbox, has created a stir in baking circles by experimenting with yeast extracted from a 4,000-year-old Egyptian loaf and from ancient artefacts. The artefacts, including Egyptian ceramics once used to make or store beer and bread, were found at museums in Boston with the help of an interested archaeologist. Blackley, who also collects wild yeast from medieval forests, created a loaf of sourdough bread with a “light and airy” crumb and an “incredible” flavor and aroma. He shared his results on Twitter, sparking interest among thousands of people. Useable thousand-year-old yeast? Yes, experts say: once yeast spores run out of food they go dormant, rather than simply dying, and stay quietly viable for thousands of years until they are extracted.[Image Credit: © Sabine Schulte from Pixabay]

New Spring Wheat Variety Gains Global Attention Because It Makes Great Noodles

A wheat breeding expert at Washington State University (Pullman) has developed a variety of spring wheat – dubbed “Ryan” – that he says is growing quickly in popularity among Northwest U.S. farmers and Asian grain buyers because of its surprising ability to create an outstanding fresh noodle, according to Mike Pumphrey. Introduced in 2016 but available in limited quantities until now, Ryan led all public spring wheat varieties for certified seed production in Washington last year. Not only is Ryan expected to dominate spring wheat acreage this year, WSU scientists say it could transform the market for wheat growers and their customers, here and abroad. The wheat industry is already setting Ryan apart, keeping it identity-preserved so dealers can sell it for noodles at a premium. The variety is named for Ryan A. Davis, a WSU alumnus who died of cancer at age 38 in 2016.[Image Credit: © Washington State University News and Media Relations]


DuPont: Plant-Based Nutrition Is Better Served By Combinations Of Synergistic Ingredients

DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences says plant-based nutrition is moving beyond single-source ingredients to synergistic combinations that strengthen the nutritional and sensorial profile of final products. Providing single ingredients was once the most common way to serve the plant-based diet market. But now DuPont’s application and development teams are increasingly blending plant-based ingredients that include proteins, stabilizers, antimicrobials and antioxidants, among others. The idea is to take the best of each plant ingredient to develop higher-performance formulations, bringing synergy and leverage of one ingredient to another. An example would be combining soy with almond, or soy with pea or rice and pea. The combinations are better than a single source of protein, because one can bring texture and the amino acids, while another can bring a different sensorial aspect or better hydration.[Image Credit: © DuPont de Nemours, Inc]

Established Foods Are Repositioning As “Real Foods” For The Sports Crowd

Creating new foods, or repositioning established, traditional foods, as sports nutrition products is proving to be a profitable business tactic. As sports nutrition products move into the mainstream, so-called “real foods” – devoid of artificial ingredients – are moving into the world of professional and amateur sports. Example include: Veloforte's sports twist on a traditional Italian treat packed with fruit and nuts; California-based Clif Bar, now firmly tethered to sports and activity;  Soreen, a fruit-based cake from the U.K. repositioned for recreational cyclists; low-sugar protein bar Grenade Carb Killa, marketed as a real food alternative to sports nutrition bars. The trend is powered by sports dietitians whose first principle is that whole foods are the best fuel.[Image Credit: © silviarita from Pixabay]

Restaurant Sales Growth Ebbs As Delivery Emerges As Growth Area

Sales growth for the top 500 U.S. restaurant companies slid in 2018 to 3.3 percent compared to the average 3.8 percent for the restaurants in the last five-year period, according to Technomic research. And while the fast-casual segment outpaced all other segments, its sales growth slipped to eight percent from an average 9.8 percent gain for the past five-year period signaling a cooling-off period. Meanwhile, delivery has emerged as a major growth area for all restaurants. This has caused companies to explore packaging that allows food quality to sustain itself in transit. It is also causing chains to reconsider their store designs to include a separate entrance for delivery drivers. [Image Credit: © Free-Photos from Pixabay]

For French-Born Entrepreneur, The American Dream Is Built On Macarons

The French patisserie business Rosalie Guillem founded with her daughter Audrey in Sarasota, Fla., is approaching its tenth anniversary and is flush with entrepreneurial success. The company owns a few corporate stores, but also some 50 franchise locations, in Florida, California, New Hampshire, Arizona, and seven other states. Another 30 franchises are in development, all based on the original flagship delicacy, an airy but decadent macaron – not to be confused with an American macaroon. The company did $11 million in sales in 2018, made the Inc. 5,000 list of the nation’s fastest-growing companies in 2016, and posted 259 percent growth over three years. Guillem’s Le Macaron stores now offer gelato, eclairs, napoleons, pies, cakes, croissants, and fine chocolates – all made with French ingredients. A catering unit handles parties, weddings and other events – all of it a testament to the dogged pursuit of the American dream, French-style.[Image Credit: © https://lemacaron-us.com/oak/files/images/Foto-LM-1.jpg]

Ackee-Stuffed Patties Form The Core Of Jamaican Baker’s Growing Business

Jamaica native Chantal Thomas is a career baker and pastry chef who also blogs about her country’s national fruit, the avocado-like ackee, which she employs in numerous recipes, including one for a vegan ackee-stuffed patty. In addition to ackee patties, Thomas sells ones filled with eggplant, chickpea and zucchini, and lentil. For the crust, Thomas uses coconut instead of shortening. She formed her company, Amazing Ackee LLC, in 2017 and began baking out of a rented kitchen. She landed a spot at one farmers market last year and expanded to four markets this year. Thomas sells between 20 and 40 dozen patties a week at the farmers markets, the volume matching demand for vegan products.[Image Credit: © Amazing Ackee]

Brooklyn’s Flour Shop Succeeds With Cakes That Explode With Candy Sprinkles

A Brooklyn-based bakery start-up – the Flour Shop – has built a huge customer base that includes celebrities like the Kardashians and singer Ariana Grande solely by showing off its unusual candy-packed layer cakes on Instagram videos. What makes the cakes unusual is the fact that they are often stuffed with a column of multi-colored candy sprinkles that burst forth when the cake is cut. Ross Harrow and his baker wife Amirah Kassem’s ready-to-eat products include a $150 bagel and lox cake, a $350 doll body with explosive skirt and a $150 gender-reveal cake, which explodes either pink or blue candies. The duo has amassed 70,000 paying customers, 35 employees, and 85 SKUs ranging from $3 to $150. The success is especially impressive because the cakes are only available in New York and must be picked up in person from the company’s downtown Manhattan location. [Image Credit: © Flour Shop by Amirah Kassem]

Healthy Retail Bread Sales Forecast, But Not Because Of Volume Increases

Researcher Packaged Facts expects increases in retail dollar sales of fresh bread – up from $16.3 billion in 2018 to $16.8 billion in 2023 – are likely to be driven by healthful, more nutritious products with clean labels and natural ingredients. The flip side of this good news is that the premium prices of the more healthful products are driving the increase in dollar sales, rather than volume increases. But the researcher says there are opportunities for growth, especially in five potential areas: local farms and bakeries and the farm-to-table trend; new ways to deliver better health and nutrition claims; growth in the grain-free market; moving packaged bread closer to in-store bakeries or delis; and merchandising in fast-growing perimeter departments such as produce and meat.[Image Credit: © Daily Kneads Bread, LLC]

Arcadia Shares Global Marketing Of Its High-Fiber Resistant Starch Wheat

Food ingredients company Arcadia Biosciences has resolved an intellectual property dispute by partnering with Arista Cereal Technologies and Bay State Milling to commercialize its high-fiber resistant starch wheat in key wheat markets, including North America, Europe, and parts of Asia. Bay State Milling will will handle marketing in North America under under its HealthSense brand portfolio; Arista will handle marketing in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Japan, and South Korea. Arcadia will continue to market its high-fiber wheat under its GoodWheat portfolio of specialty wheat ingredients in other international markets. The agreement earns Arcadia royalties for sales of its wheat varieties in North America by Bay State Milling. According to Arcadia, its high-fiber wheat delivers multiple times the resistant starch as traditional wheat and significantly higher amounts of dietary fiber than traditional wheat flour. [Image Credit: © PRNewsfoto/Arcadia Biosciences, Inc.]


Americans Need To Get More Whole Grain Foods Into Their Diets

Though the U.S. government has been pushing whole grains as part of a healthful diet for nearly two decades, Americans actually consume less than half of the recommended amount. A recent Centers for Disease Control report reveals that whole grains are just 15.8 percent of total grain intake for the average American adult, a far cry from the recommended three servings of whole grains daily. Nutrition experts say it’s not that difficult to get more whole grains into the diet. Aim for three servings of whole grains daily and limit the refined grains – white bread, regular pasta, baked goods, etc. – to three servings a day or less. Also, skip foods whose labels have the words "enriched," "degerminated," "wheat flour," "bran" or "wheat germ" on the label. They are not whole grains.[Image Credit: © tangyi178 from PIxabay]


Bill That Would Ease N.J. Restrictions On Selling Home Baked Goods Stalls In Committee

Thanks to one obdurate New Jersey lawmaker, a bill that would ease state restrictions on the sale of home-baked foods is stalled in a Senate committee. The bill has passed the N.J. Assembly several times but remains blocked by state Sen. Joseph Vitale (D), who won’t allow a vote. The legislation would approve the sale of fresh baked goods from private kitchens at farm stands, farmers' markets, fairs, festivals, and events. It would end New Jersey's status as the only state in the union that doesn't allow the public sale of cookies, cakes, and pastries made by home bakers. Forty-nine other states allow such sales. "I'm just trying to do this the right way," Vitale has told the Associated Press. "If these were individuals who are trying to be entrepreneurial, I'm just trying to make sure the public is protected."[Image Credit: © Jan Vašek from Pixabay]
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