This year, Baking & Snack launched its first podcast, Since Sliced Bread, which interviews industry leaders about the biggest issues facing the baking and snack industry today.
Look back at the top five takeaways from each season of 2020 and don't miss the new episodes coming in January.
Season 1: Heading off declining bread sales
- Before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the bread category had been in steady decline for 50 years. Hear from the expert: Since Sliced Bread addresses falling bread sales.
- Long fermentation, sprouted and heirloom grains, and positioning bread as an experience could provide paths to bread innovation. Hear from the expert: Aryzta’s Jon Davis makes the case for heirloom and sprouted grains.
- Social media can be a tool to push back against misinformation about the nutritional quality of bread. Hear from the expert: Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe takes tech-savvy approach to increase bread sales.
- Consumption habits and diets continue to change, and shoppers are looking at companies holistically. They want to support companies that care. Hear from the expert: Grupo Bimbo’s Servitje reminds consumers bread is not the enemy.
- Investing in sustainable agriculture can provide a supply of locally sourced specialty grains to produce “not boring bread." Hear from the expert: Chabaso CEO wants to revolutionize grain agriculture.
Season 2: Accidental bakers, snack makers
- E-commerce, demand for innovative products and venture capitalists have lowered barriers to entry in the food industry. Hear from the expert: Since Sliced Bread tells accidental bakers and snack makers’ stories.
- Innovation can come from anywhere: food waste, a family recipe or dietary restrictions. Hear from the expert: Bread SRSLY delivers sourdough experience to gluten-free consumers.
- Partnerships with vendors and co-packers were critical to filling knowledge gaps for these entrepreneurs. Hear from the expert: What comes after Shark Tank? For Brazi Bites, exponential growth.
- Outsider perspectives helped these entrepreneurs be bolder and gave insight into consumer needs. Hear from the experts: Rubicon Bakers: Profitable with a purpose.
- COVID-19 put these companies’ launches on hold, but e-commerce continues to boom. Hear from the experts: How COVID-19 upended Since Sliced Bread guests’ plans.
Season 3: Bakers respond to COVID-19
- Demand for supermarket staples like bread and snacks skyrocketed while foodservice and institutional business dried up overnight. Hear from the experts: Since Sliced Bread examines bakery sales in early pandemic days.
- Bakeries built for flexibility were able to shift production to meet supermarket demand, even those with majority foodservice business. Hear from the expert: Gold Standard Baking stays nimble during pandemic.
- Bakeries supported essential employees with PPE, social distancing, health screenings and financial incentives. Hear from the expert: Wyandot incentivizes employees during COVID-19.
- Testing and transparency are critical during COVID-19 outbreaks at a baking facility. Hear from the expert: How AbiMar Foods bounced back from a COVID-19 outbreak.
- Collaboration was critical in shoring up the food supply chain. Hear from the expert: A supermarket CEO’s lessons learned.
Season 4: The workforce challenge
- Bakeries need skilled workers — maintenance and engineering — so the industry can’t just rely on high unemployment to solve the workforce shortage. Hear from the expert: Baking industry can’t rely on high unemployment to solve workforce issue.
- Visibility in front of students and potential employees is the first step to recruitment. Hear from the experts: Why KSU, baking industry face similar recruitment challenges.
- Refugees, immigrants, veterans and formerly incarcerated individuals are all valuable labor pools. Hear from the experts: Open hiring unlocks untapped labor pools for Greyston Bakery.
- Retention hinges on training, upward mobility and employee investment. Hear from the experts: Hearthside, NDP Analytics share what ABA workforce study findings mean for the industry.
- Companies with strong employee support programs benefit from loyal workforces. Hear from the expert: Alvarado Street Bakery’s business model draws in workers.