Tammy Wong is director of R&D and commercialization at Aspire Bakeries, Los Angeles. She has worked at the company and its previous iteration as Aryzta North America since 2012.
In this second installment of IBIE Point of View, Baking & Snack checks in on how the International Baking Exposition (IBIE) is meeting Ms. Wong's expectations.
What have you seen at IBIE that has surprised you?
A couple of things have caught my attention: IBIE’s cannabis pavilion and seeing how cannabis is pushing to grow and expand in the food industry, the availability of different nuts/seeds/legumes/etc. in flour form, and the continued innovation for existing wheat.
What has been the most exciting thing you’ve seen at IBIE so far?
It’s difficult to list one but I’m excited to see suppliers continue to develop new alternatives/improve existing ingredients so manufacturers can address supply chain issues or customers with specific allergen needs without sacrificing quality.
What were your goals, and how do you feel about the progress you’ve made in reaching them?
My goals were to see what is up and coming and how exhibitors are responding to shortages. I feel that I’ve made progress in understanding where suppliers see the market currently/where it is going and how we can continue to be better partners in facing challenges.
How has your experience been meeting with exhibitors? Are you finding the information you were looking for?
It’s been a great experience as IBIE has allowed me to reconnect with exhibitors in one location. I’ve also been able to spend time at different booths discussing different solutions/new ingredients that would be beneficial for upcoming projects.
What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned either in an education session or at an exhibitor meeting?
Overall, I’ve learned that it’s going to take more than a new flavor/product that’s going to capture the consumer. When considering to purchase, today’s consumer is looking at multiple aspects of a product. In addition to nutritionals, ingredient statements, claims, and etc., consumers are also focused on health and wellness, sustainability, a digital component, and etc.
How does IBIE 2022 compare to previous IBIEs you’ve attended?
This year’s IBIE’s tradeshow floor layout was split bewteen two halls which was great as it spread out attendees and broke up the trade show floor.
How will you be spending your remaining days at the show?
I will continue to reconnect with suppliers and walk the halls to see what exhibitors are showcasing.