Baking technology, as showcased at the International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) every three years, changes over time to reflect the evolution of the baking industry. In some cases, advances in automation are helping drive change in the industry.
E-commerce for the food industry emerged as a strong trend at the start of the pandemic, and interest in the suddenly emerging channel for the baking industry has grown rapidly.
In early July 2020, grain-based food companies focused on the growth and potential of online businesses. Jeffrey L. Harmoning, Minneapolis chief executive officer, General Mills, Inc., noted at the time that e-commerce sales accounted for about 9% of sales in the first few months of the pandemic. Jonathan J., President of North America Retail at General Mills, spoke about the potential of the marketplace. Nudi said the company’s online business grew 250% year over year in spring 2020, and 50% of US households bought products online during that time. last 12 months.
Bakers are also showing increasing interest. Earlier this year, Flower Foods, Inc., Thomasville, Ga., Chairman and CEO of A. Ryles McMullian, said Flower is committed to “becoming the industry leader, driving sales on traditional retailer websites, online retailers and delivery partners across the globe.” pushes the last mile”. ,
During a panel discussion at the 2022 American Bakers Association Annual Meeting, Omar Ann Haq, vice president, general manager and eCommerce for Bimbo Bakery USA in Acelarada, Horsham, Pa., stated that online sales of baked goods by bakers is gaining momentum. Is. And that already 20% to 30% of consumers do all their grocery shopping online.
He warned that bakers need to compete fiercely to stand out in the e-commerce market.
“There’s a misconception that the online shelf is endless,” he said. “Yes, you search in every category and Amazon, Instacart, Kroger, Walmart, you see thousands of results, that’s true. But the reality is that the digital shelf is too small. Rarely do buyers go beyond the first page based on results, especially on the small screen.”
Rabobank’s JP Frossard said bread is one of the most searched products for online grocery shoppers, but the baking industry is lagging behind the broader food industry.
There’s still plenty of room for the baking industry to pursue e-commerce businesses, Mr Frossard said.
“Only every third” [online food] There’s a baked good to buy,” he said. “Baked goods have 100 percent household penetration, so why only 1 in 3 orders? Consumers are eating these products, they are not buying them online and we need to understand why.”