Wenner will be rolling out round rolls with ciabatta-like crusts.
Offering a clean slate
Clean label provides another point of differentiation. Wenner’s G.M.O.-free line of Dots uses sustainable cocoa and palm oil as well as other premium ingredients. These treats contain no hydrogenated oils, preservatives or artificial flavors. A few years ago, Wenner became the first to introduce clean label frozen dough, which was no easy feat, Mr. Rizzitello said.
“It’s very difficult to find clean label frozen dough anywhere in the market,” he said.
This year, Wenner is offering many of its artisan frozen dough products in complementary par-baked and fully baked formats. It’s also introducing a 4.25-inch round ciabatta-style bun with an open-air texture and sturdy crust that can hold juicy gourmet hamburgers loaded with all the fixings without breaking apart into a mess halfway through the meal.
All of the bakery's new products are clean label.
Mr. Alvarez stated that clean label has transitioned from “nice to have” to “must have” for many bakers seeking to bring more healthful alternatives to the market. That’s resulted in a fundamental shift in its product development process.
“All of our new products have to be clean label,” he said. “It’s mandatory unless customers ask for it with an ingredient that will make a value-added product more affordable. By policy, our innovation is based on clean label along with great flavor and taste.”
To accomplish this transition, Wenner relies on time.
“If a good donut requires 45 minutes of fermenting, we do 45 minutes,” Mr. Tey said. “If a good loaf of bread requires 3 hours of fermenting, it gets 3 hours. We don’t use a huge amount of yeast or cut corners on the fermentation process. We don’t use chemical leavening ingredients. We use natural ingredients, and we respect the old-fashioned bakery process.”
Rolling out new products and more
Wenner is rolling out new round rolls with ciabatta-like crusts that hold up to the juiciest burgers and ginormous toppings with an open-air texture.
The company also is providing new fully baked artisan and rustic bread that had been only previously available in a frozen dough format. In all, Wenner and its parent company, Europastry, have introduced 45 new products over the past year.
For Patrick Gallagher, vice-president of sales, Wenner, a new product lineup is great news, but his message also involves customizing Wenner’s product portfolio to its customers. Sometimes it may require taking Dots donuts and crumbling them up to incorporate them as a dessert ingredient. Other times, it’s creating a signature item that captures everyone’s imagination.
“We listen to what our customers need and craft a strategy and partner with them,” he said.
Automatic scoring of baked goods allows Wenner Bakery to streamline production and produce a wide variety of breads and rolls.