Yes, things change — often for the better, sometimes for the worse, but never without consequences, according to Robb MacKie, president and chief executive officer of the American Bakers Association.
While much is the same in the baking industry since it last gathered in Las Vegas for I.B.I.E., much has altered in the landscape. The entire structure of the industry has undergone dramatic upheaval, notably the acquisition of one top baker by another and the exit from the marketplace of yet another major baker.
In 2010, Mr. MacKie noted, many analysts discussed overcapacity and underutilization of capital assets, but now they focus on undercapacity and full utilization. New capacity isn’t driving just the large players in the industry. A list of the most-talked-about new bakeries is dominated by mid-sized independent companies. Their main thrust is producing more products with less waste and as efficiently as possible.
A tour of the newest baking facilities coming on-line the past couple of years illustrates this trend. Bakers always have been very attentive to waste and inefficient production, but that has now evolved into almost an obsession.
For more of Mr. MacKie’s insights as the big show approaches, check out the digital edition of Sosland Publishing’s Special Edition and Show Preview on www.bakingbusiness.com