The Rise of Artisan Bakers

The launch of The Great British Bake Off in 2010 ignited the nation’s passion for baking. People of all ages and baking experience have attempted the signature dishes, showstoppers and technical tests at one time or another; all no doubt with varying degrees of success. Junior Bake Off, the spin-off series, saw future artisan bakers take to our screens with the aim of impressing the judges with their flaky pastry and gingerbread houses.

Not only did we see the British public tune into the programme in their millions, viewers took to the Supermarkets in their droves. Sainsburys for example, saw sales of orange jelly increase by 150% overnight when the contestants were tasked with making Jaffa Cakes (1) in 2016. The show is also credited by many as being integral to the rise of Artisan Bakeries and their increase in popularity among the British public.

INDEPENDENT BAKERIES

The independent bakery sector has enjoyed years of growth thanks to the likes of Paul Hollywood and Lorraine Pascale championing the art to the masses. The word ‘Artisan’ typically signifies care, expertise and quality of ingredients. There are currently no official restrictions on who can use these terms, so it’s always worth finding out the story behind the label.

For example, Macleans Bakery in Forres, Inverness, Scotland, are a Stevens Traceability client. They are fourth generation family bakers and have held the title of Scottish Master Bakers. A family-run company, they produce traditional shortbreads, sweet biscuits and oatcakes from recipes handed down through the generations. In the 100 years they have been baking, the team at Macleans Bakery have witnessed many changes in their industry, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the quality of ingredients, quality of finished product and eating quality and flavour.

COELIAC DISEASE AND FOOD ALLERGIES

As a nation we have a fondness of bread which spans thousands of years, however in recent years an increase in coeliac disease (gluten intolerance) and food allergies in general, has seen consumers taking more of an interest in what is in their food.

This has provided independent bakeries with an opportunity to bake products which meet the needs of niche markets. Independent bakeries are typically in a better position than the national bakeries to respond quickly to a change in consumer tastes by removing or reducing the ingredients typically associated with intolerances and allergies i.e. yeast and additives. The introduction of sourdough into the baking process has enabled bakeries to continue offering products to this marketplace.

THE IMPORTANCE OF RECIPE TRACEABILITY IN BAKERIES

Nowadays, consumers are not afraid to ask for the details when it comes to ingredients. They are also more demanding as far as product consistency goes. They want the same taste and same size of product each time; regardless of whether they are buying from an independent bakery or Supermarket.

This is where recipe traceability plays a part. Many independent bakeries still take a manual approach to the weighing of ingredients which is typically down to the costs of introducing automation into the process.

At Stevens Traceability our Essentials™ Modular Software has been designed specifically for smaller, independent bakeries. Our system supports you in delivering on product consistency and traceability of ingredients leading to a reduction in costly giveaway.

Introducing automation into the baking process, ensures you can deliver what the customer wants; namely consistency of product and quality. In addition, your bakery benefits from increased productivity and visibility of the entire operation. Introducing the Essentials™ Modular Software into your production process, reduces the amount of manual labour from the process, provides statistics of the batch, manages product giveaway, ensures consistency. All of the previously mentioned gives you the time to focus on developing new products and most importantly growing your business.

FIND OUT MORE

For more information on the Essentials™ Modular Software, please call Lauren on: 01254 685200 or email: lauren.smith@stevenstraceability.com

INTERESTING FACTS

  • As a nation of bread lovers, we purchase over 3,500,000,000 sandwiches each year (2) – this reaches 12,000,000,000 if you count the ones you make yourself (3)!
  • Artisan bread is easier to digest than mass-produced bread, because the enzymes have had time to begin breaking down the gluten in the flour while fermenting. And you can take time to savour it too – as a rule of thumb, the longer the production process, the longer its shelf life will be (4).
  • Sugar keeps everything together when baking (5). Aside from sweetening the baked goods, its role is to bind the water, meaning it attracts water and keeps it from the other ingredients.
  • A rolled-up piece of white bread was used to erase graphite before rubber erasers were invented (6).