CHICAGO — Bakers don’t need to stare into a crystal ball to foresee what their businesses will face on the horizon. That’s because the American Society of Baking’s BakingTech 2019, which runs Feb. 24-26 at the Hilton Chicago, will target the potential for growth in the years to come.
“Next year’s BakingTech will focus on the future of where baking is heading and includes our lineup of keynote speakers, technical presentations and BreadTalks — our version of Ted Talks,” said Trent Wanamaker, BakingTech 2019 program chair and sales director, bakery and confectionary, DuPont Nutrition & Health. “All of these speeches will focus on the many challenges presented to our industry moving forward.”
At the opening reception, the A.S.B. will boldly go where the society hasn’t gone before by featuring the Mini Bakery Breadbot by Walla Walla, Wash.-based Wilkinson Baking that’s designed for in-store bakeries. It mixes, forms, proofs, bakes and cools 10 loaves of bread an hour. Meanwhile, Sebastian Marcu, founder and chief executive officer of Bake In Space, will provide an out-of-this-world presentation on baking during the closing session.
BakingTech’s keynote speakers will reinforce “Baking a Fresh Future,” which is the conference’s theme.
“We wanted to not only be forward-thinking with our approach to our keynote speakers but also provide some relevant topics for A.S.B. members,” Mr. Wanamaker said. “We’re excited to have Dr. Morgaine Gaye, a food futurologist, to provide some insight not only on where the food category is going in the future but also where bakery fits in with these future trends.”
Attracting, training and retaining the labor force is a challenge throughout the industry. John Frehse, senior managing director, Ankura Consulting Group, will share innovative ways to help bakeries tune in to employees’ needs to deliver better business results. Moreover, Tom Gumpel, president of MDJ Baking Inc., Sarasota, Fla., will use his experiences to help focus and challenge the audience on meeting more near-term consumer trends and innovation needs in the bakery space.
Meanwhile, Mr. Wanamaker added, breakout sessions will focus on critical and technical issues that allow bakers to implement new ideas right away.
“We certainly have a broad range of topics being covered on the technical breakout sessions ranging from emerging food safety technology and addressing the challenges of extended shelf life to advances in equipment maintenance technologies and improvements in sanitation technologies,” he said. “We also have a lot of ingredient topics that are critical to bakers’ needs.”
To link the future to the past, BakingTech also will feature perennial favorites such as the honorable inductions to the Baking Hall of Fame, the latest Fischer Award recipient, the increasingly popular Product Development Competition, networking during the luncheons and the annual MarketPlace Table Tops. For more information, visit www.asbe.org. BEMA also holds its 2019 Summit from Feb. 22-24 at the Hilton Chicago. For more details, go to www.bema.org.