Are you thinking outside the bag? All too often, pundits see the baking and snack industries only in terms of the supermarket’s bread and salted snack aisles. But as report after report shows, the true innovation in the market comes when baked foods and salted snacks enter the food service arena. And it happens, too, when we take our products into distribution channels ranging from in-store bakeries and delis to convenience stores and even the freezer case — all of which now offer an ever-broader array of packaged and grab-and-go items.

Those trends inspired Gonnella Baking’s newly built research center within its Schaumburg, Ill., facility. It is designed to boost the bakery’s capabilities to develop new products. The R.&D. center enhances the effectiveness of its team of food scientist, certified research chef, retail baker, food technician, and regulatory and quality experts. Results are seen in innovative products tailored to customers, along with product troubleshooting, optimization, and customer and technician training.

Such investments are essential to burgeoning businesses — the ones that are growing in the baking industry. Gonnella’s R.&D. center embodies a growing trend among wholesale baking companies to firmly position their products as key components of meals and snacking occasions. To do so, you must think outside of the bag.

Think beyond the supermarket scanning data. That’s where an abundance of opportunity awaits.