Artisan bread has emerged as a universal trend, according to Jordi Galles, executive chairman of Barcelona-based Europastry
“The bread of the future is the bread of the past,” he said. “Using a stone oven or mother doughs for making Old World breads is gaining in popularity all over the world.”
Allison Leibovich, associate brand manager for Los Angeles-based La Brea Bakery, suggested the widespread popularity of artisan reflects a groundswell for historically simple, wholesome foods. At the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association’s Dairy-Deli-Bake show, the brand returned to basics, displaying such products as La Brea Bakery classic baguettes, a savory Jalapeño Cheddar loaf, a sweet Pecan Raisin bread and a hearty Asiago, Romano and Parmesan Three Cheese Semolina variety. These core legacy items target different eating occasions throughout the day.
“People want to see breads that are hand-touched and hand-scored,” Ms. Leibovich said. “Breads with flour dusting and seeding are visually intriguing and draw people into the bakery.”
Maria Carolina Gollo, innovation/global marketing, for Mexico City-based Grupo Bimbo, suggested that consumers perceive hand-crafted artisan products as healthier than commercial ones, even if they’re not.
Speaking at BEMA’s annual convention in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, Ms. Gollo pointed to Bimbo’s Artesano branded bread, an artisan-style white bread that has been successful in all 19 countries where it has been launched.
“It’s white bread that offers a superior consumption experience with a better texture and a better flavor,” she explained.
Through Aryzta, its Zurich-headquartered parent company, the La Brea Bakery brand is exploring exporting its retail line to Latin America. In Asia, specifically in Taiwan, its line of products can be found not only in fine-dining establishments or hotels where the company has an established business partnership, but there also is growing interest in retail where American brands have become embraced.
“For us, with La Brea Bakery, it’s about the quality that people expect,” Ms. Leibovich said. “There’s also a desire to provide a consistent dining experience that consumers will enjoy with our bread.”