Check out other categories for new ideas

by Dan Malovany
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When it comes to developing new products, Legendary Baking knows where to turn. It finds what’s hot in the market and builds a dessert around it — even if that hot trend is bacon. Yes, bacon.

Two years ago, the Denver-based producer of pies, bars, cookies and other sweet goods launched The Salty Hog as a limited-time offer. This dessert layers salty caramel and almonds with French silk filling and then chocolate cake, adding whipped cream and finally topping it off with a half strip of caramelized bacon.

“It was one of those products where people said, ‘I’m not going to eat that,’ but when you tried it, it really knocked your socks off,” recalled Tim Kanaly, division president for Legendary Baking. “We saw a lot of salty caramel and bacon emerging in new products, and we put something together to see if it works. There is no shortage of ideas out there.”

To discover new products, bakers and snack manufacturers need to check out other segments of the food industry. Look into what’s happening in the beverage industry. These processors are mixing and matching flavors in a way that should test the imagination of any sweet goods producer. There’s a popular approach to innovation now going around the Internet: “Steal this idea.”

Why not, especially when it comes to bringing in fresh concepts from one category and into another?

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