Pending the close of the sale by the end of summer, Aspire Bakeries will be acquired by private equity firm Lindsay Goldberg. Leaving a global public company to be privately owned, the company aims to focus on the North American market and its core brands and the categories they represent: La Brea Bakery, Otis Spunkmeyer and Oakrun Farm Bakery. Each of these brands represents quality in its own way.

“Within our Aspire Bakeries portfolio, our four key categories are artisan bread, cookies, muffins and donuts,” said Chris Prociv, senior vice president of marketing, innovation and research and development, Aspire Bakeries. “Artisan bread is one of our growth categories, and La Brea Bakery is really the jewel from a branding standpoint.”

Understanding what each brand represents helps Aspire Bakeries maintain its way when it comes to product development. La Brea Bakery, for instance, is premium artisan bread, so Aspire Bakeries isn’t looking to sell it in every channel, and as Aspire Bakeries innovates, new products should still deliver the best artisan bread experience.

“When we create products branded as La Brea Bakery, it has to meet those expectations,” Ms. Prociv explained.

For unbranded baked goods, such as with Aspire Bakeries’ QSR customers, Aspire Bakeries is pushing the envelope and still delivering the quality its customers expect working with the La Brea Bakery and Aspire Bakeries team.

“We have to be end solution-focused so we can design the best bread to meet the needs of the product like a bun for a chicken sandwich,” Ms. Prociv said. “How do we make bread more than just the carrier? We’re trying to make the bread not just a carrier but an enhancement to the meal.”

Otis Spunkmeyer is also a brand centered on quality, but with the motto of “only for everyone.” Ms. Prociv said the brand is all about taste and a fun, indulgent experience. Oakrun Farm Bakery, on the other hand, is a wholesome, traditional, taste-forward brand.

“Each one of our brands has their own story,” she noted.

Aspire Bakeries aims to leverage those stories through new product innovation and newfound efficiencies to grow its business. Whether Aspire Bakeries is working directly with customers to formulate their ideas or presenting new products to customers, the company is focused on how to best serve its customers through its core categories.

This article is an excerpt from the May 2021 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on ANA & La Brea,  click here.