New products = new equipment

by Dan Malovany
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When Skinner Baking Co. rolled out its branded muffin line, the company used existing capacity on its AutoBake line and other equipment. But the new product launch next year will likely be different. “Our next new product will involve a total expansion and new equipment,” said Audie Keaton, president of the Omaha, NE, company. “The lines we have now will support our growth, but we’re looking to add all-new lines with our new products.”

As it expands its J. Skinner brand, the bakery plans to stay within its core competency of creating top-quality baked sweet goods, noted Gary Kyle, vice-president of marketing. “All of our products are born internally,” he said. “We have a gifted team of baking industry veterans who know what will work in the marketplace. Once we agree on a product or line of products, all departments take pricing into action. Recipes are created and tested, packaging design work begins, the purchasing department studies our commodity needs, and finance begins costing models. We are typically one year out on new product plans, so a lot of work and planning goes into every product launch.”

Although the J. Skinner line currently has only 25 SKUs, Mr. Keaton said, the goal is to be the one-stop shop for the in-store bakery when it comes to baked sweet goods.
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