Monthly Archives

September 2016

Creating appealing, clean-label frozen snacks and appetizers (Snackfood & Wholesale Bakery)

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(Melissa Kvidahl)

Frozen foods and snacks are meeting no shortage of challenges in the marketplace according to the “Frozen Foods in the U.S.: Hot Meals, Sides, and Snacks” report from Packaged Facts. First, as the report points out, there is unprecedented consumer demand for fresh products—or, at least, fresher products—in refrigerated rather than frozen form. Plus, frozen foods often contain preservatives such as potassium sorbate, calcium propionate and sodium tripolyphosphate, which are at odds with clean-label and natural trends driving the food industry as a whole. Finally, previously popular low-calorie and diet-oriented frozen foods are facing additional consumer scrutiny as a result of their high sodium contents.

Add to this the fact that frozen foods face a sort of antiquated reputation, and it becomes clear that there’s a bit of rebranding that needs to be done in order for this sector to succeed. “Many consumers have come to believe that only fresh foods offer real nutritional value,” says David Sprinkle, research director, Packaged Facts, Rockville, MD. He adds that the strong anti-frozen viewpoint on the part of these shoppers can even blind them to brands whose products offer the same nutritional value as fresh or refrigerated options.

But it’s not just judgment in the frozen aisle stunting growth, reveals the report. It’s also about what’s happening in other areas of the store. Packaged Facts points out that there are more and more sources, such as farmers markets and expanded produce sections in grocery and big box stores, offering fresh produce and other foods. In short, these additional sources are pulling consumers away from the freezer case.

“In the last couple of years we have seen a decline in frozen foods,” says Agnes Lapinska, marketing manager, savory, Ingredion Inc., Westchester, IL. “Consumers are changing their shopping patterns and, as a result, the landscape of retail is changing. We have seen a significant consumer migration from the center and frozen aisles to the perimeter of the store, where products are perceived as fresher and better for you.”

Data from IRI, Chicago, shows relatively flat sales in the frozen appetizers and snack rolls category. In the 52 weeks ending April 17, 2016, the category grew just 1.95 percent in dollar sales to reach $2.1 billion. Within that segment, which includes frozen appetizers/snack rolls, frozen breaded vegetables, and frozen soft pretzels, the bright spot was frozen appetizers and snack rolls—the largest segment of the category by far—up 2.34 percent in dollar sales to $2.0 billion. Standout companies in this market included Schwan Food Co. and its Pagoda brand frozen appetizers (up 453.25 percent in dollar sales to $50.5 million), which include various egg rolls, crab Rangoon, wontons and potstickers, as well as Nestlé’s Hot Pockets brand snack rolls (up 1,378.77 percent to $30.0 million).

Frozen pretzels took a dip in sales, posting a 2.49 percent decline, reaching $74.5 million in sales. But a bright spot was gluten-free pretzels from Tonya’s Gluten Free Kitchen (up 33.18 percent) and organic options from Rudi’s Organic Bakery (up 235.09 percent).

Snack producers would be wise to take note: This organic and gluten-free trend buoying soft pretzels is one that will help carry the frozen foods category going forward. Also, the moves Schwan Food Co. and Nestlé have made to improve product quality, add ethnic appeal and draw interest from millennial consumers have proven profitable.

Packaged Facts says the silver lining in the category lies with frozen foods that identify as natural or organic, as they provide a health or freshness halo. The best news of all? Packaged Facts estimates that the frozen food category as a whole has the potential to grow to $23 billion, and that frozen appetizers and snacks are poised to lead the way and garner the most growth in years ahead.

Clean and fresh

Many frozen snack brands are capitalizing on better-for-you consumer demands, rather than trying to compete with them, by offering products that take a clean-label approach.

Indeed, everyone from niche brands to large international companies are looking to feature clean and recognizable ingredients in their frozen offerings, according to Jennifer Stephens, vice president of marketing at Fiberstar, River Falls, WI. “Due to the growing group of label readers, companies are looking to use more recognizable ingredients (ingredients found in the kitchen), shorter ingredient declarations and a more home-style look and feel,” she says.

But this can be a challenge, Stephens notes, since “artificial” ingredients can often be the workhorses that manage water in a formulation—an important aspect of developing a stable frozen food. “Natural ingredients have limitations when subjected to harsh processing and storage conditions, such as freezing,” she adds. “Therefore, manufacturers are on a quest to balance food quality and shelf life when striving for natural appeal.”

Fiberstar recently launched a new non-GMO Citri-Fi citrus fiber to fit into clean-label formulation strategies. The ingredient appeals to clean-label formulators because it can be labeled as “citrus fiber,” “dried citrus pulp” or “citrus flour,” and it works in gluten-free products as a natural emulsifier. “Since many gluten-free baked goods producers store their products in the freezer case to extend shelf life,” says Stephens, “Citri-Fi also provides moisture management control in these products, due to its high surface area which lends itself to the high water-holding capacity.”

According to Lapinska, brand transformation to appeal to freshness is a leading trend. “They start with the feel and look of the product packaging, and move to claims and updating their ingredients,” she says. “The idea behind this movement is to create new products that resonate with today’s consumer needs while increasing the perception of freshness.”

Ingredion launched NOVATION PRIMA 340 functional native starch in May, which offers instant viscosity and high stability under cold temperature storage for baked or fried frozen meals and snacks, frozen desserts, and frozen filled snacks, like egg rolls and taquitos.

Angelina De Castro, senior manager of marketing, wholesome ingredients, Ingredion, says that formulators replacing instant modified food starches with this new ingredient can benefit from clean-label, non-GMO and gluten-free claims.

Building more culinary appeal into the freezer case can also help. “The frozen food market is currently at an inflection point,” says Vanessa Phillips, CEO, Feel Good Foods, Brooklyn, NY. “While companies are having to invest in educating the consumer, we believe the old stigma of 1980s microwave dinners, associated with frozen foods, is changing. Companies like Feel Good Foods are working at changing the way people view frozen foods, proving that chef-inspired dishes can be in the frozen aisle of the supermarket.”

And, what do “chef-inspired” foods offer? Spice and flavor—a trend taking the frozen market by storm, Phillips adds. When paired with better-for-you claims, ethnic foods have seen a huge spike. And that’s exactly what Feel Good Foods offers: gluten-free egg rolls, dumplings and other Asian-inspired cuisine. “Consumers want to enjoy bold flavors, but with the convenience of quick preparation time,” she says.

Indeed, spice sells. Among frozen taquitos, El Monterey branded offerings from Ruiz Food Products, Inc., Dinuba, CA, were a top seller, according to IRI, growing 8.60 percent in dollar sales to reach $191.0 million in sales. “Both heat and spice have been a trend in the frozen Mexican foods category for quite some time,” explains Rachel P. Cullen, president and CEO. “Today’s consumer enjoys experimenting with a variety of flavors and spices.”

The future of frozen

The future of this category can be a bright one if brands can focus on offering the right products to the right consumers.

Consumer research from Ingredion shows that perception is king. “Consumers look at everything about the product when determining its perceived freshness, including location, shelf life, ingredient label and visual cues,” says Lapinska. In the freezer section, she sees an opportunity for brands to repackage their offerings with fresh-friendly language and marketing. “Offer a modern and enticing look and feel, state the product benefits, and reformulate for a cleaner, simpler label,” she advises. “Clean labels are a part of how consumers perceive freshness, along with authentic and exciting flavors.”

Targeting the right consumers will also matter, says Phillips, who identifies the younger generation as a perceptive audience for clean-label frozen offerings.

Millennials are also a key driver for Ruiz Food Products, says Cullen. For any frozen, heat-and-eat snack, convenience is instrumental to success. But millennials seek more from their foods.

“With the millennials coming through, the importance of nutrition, non-GMO, clean label and local sourcing is going to reinforce the need for new frozen baked good and snack lines,” says Stephens.

Branching out into a more-youthful demographic also shows promise, perhaps because millennials are beginning to start families, and are searching for kid-friendly foods that meet their discerning criteria. “Cleaning up the labels and improving the nutritional profiles, without losing the sense of appeal, could be an opportunity in the kids segment,” says Stephens. “There are new companies popping up run by mothers, creating products tailored to toddlers and small children. Many of these products can be found in the freezer case.”

Small plates, big trend

According to data from Technomic, Chicago, frozen foods are poised to capitalize on restaurant trends.

In the past three years, there has been a surge in menu options when it comes to pretzels (up 14.7 percent), flatbreads (up 12.3 percent), pizza (up 6.4 percent) and cheese/pizza bread (up 1.8 percent). This may have something to do with the fact that small plates are as popular as ever, with 74 percent of the top operators offering appetizers and small plates at an average of seven items per operator. Indeed, small plates are the true superstar, since appetizer offerings in terms of number of menu items were slightly down; small plate menu items (per establishment) soared 80 percent since 2013, per Technomic.

Dishes labeled as “small plates” have increased over 550 percent overall since 2013, appealing to happy hour, drink-pairing, and snacking trends. Why? Technomic reports that 42 percent of consumers want more small plates, and about half of consumers say that ordering small plates helps them control their portion sizes, save money and share dishes with a group.

Fiberstar Qualifies for the Best in Baking Program at the 2016 International Baking Industry Exposition

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River Falls, WI (September 21, 2016)
Fiberstar (, a global market leader in clean label food ingredient solutions qualified for the Best in Baking Program which will be featured at the upcoming 2016 International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) October 8-11, 2016 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. This program recognizes suppliers that foster energy conservation, reduced water usage, a decrease in landfill waste, healthy living and/or reduction of overall impact on the environment.

Fiberstar will be exhibiting at Booth #470 at the IBIE. The baking show is the biggest baking event in the U.S. for the grain-based industry. This show not only encompasses elements such as product equipment and baking suppliers, packaging materials and systems, but also food ingredients such as Fiberstar’s Citri-Fi®, which is a natural citrus fiber derived from the orange juicing process.

Citri-Fi is created by a patented physical process that keeps the insoluble and soluble fiber and protein intact. The process opens up the fiber matrix which contributes to its excellent water holding capacity and natural emulsification. These features provide functionalities such as viscosity, moisture retention, stabilization, emulsification and gelling which are sought out when creating baked goods, snacks and bakery fillings. “With the bakery market edging for clean label solutions, nutritional improvements and cost savings, we feel that Citri-Fi is in an optimal position to meet all these objectives.” says Fiberstar, Inc. President & CEO, John Haen. “Bakery is one of Citri-Fi’s key markets due to its exceptional functional benefits and nutritional composition.” Citri-Fi can be labeled as citrus fiber, dried citrus pulp or citrus flour.

This natural citrus fiber provides the following benefits:
• Moisture retention to improve texture quality over shelf-life
• Pectin replacement in bakery fruit fillings when used in low pH/high sugar conditions
• Natural emulsification
• Baking stability to minimize boil out and quality loss in fruit preparations
• Egg extension to provide cost savings and improve nutritional profiles (cholesterol reduction)
• Fat and caloric reduction
• Gluten-free formulating

Fiberstar will be demonstrating gelling properties in fruit-based fillings and promoting baked fig bars at the upcoming IBIE show to highlight Citri-Fi’s exceptional moisture retention and texture enhancing benefits.

“Fiberstar continues to stay in the forefront with its evolving innovative solutions and industry support. This is emphasized by the Student Innovation Contest we are currently hosting. We understand the value of science and innovation created by our next generation of scientists” concluded Mr. Haen. To learn more about the Student Innovation Contest, please contact or visit .

IBIE Booth Profiles (Snackfood & Wholesale Bakery)

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Fiberstar, Inc.

River Falls, WI


 Booth #470

Fiberstar, Inc. sells Citri-Fi, a natural, clean label citrus fiber derived from citrus pulp. Citri-Fi provides multiple benefits in baked goods such as moisture management due to high water holding capacity, gelling properties/ pectin extension in fruit fillings due to native pectin content, fat replacement, egg replacement due to emulsification properties and improved quality over shelf-life in gluten-free and regular baked products. Citri-Fi is labeled as citrus fiber, dried citrus pulp or citrus flour. This natural fiber is non-GMO, non-allergenic, has no E-number and contributes fiber. Fiberstar sells to over 65 countries. Please stop by our booth to learn more about our clean label solutions within bakery and snacks foods.

AB Mauri North America

St. Louis, MO


Booth #9919

AB Mauri North America contributes to the success of our customers through the delivery of superior technical service and expertise combined with quality yeast and bakery ingredient solutions. Industrial and artisan bakers, in need of a total resource for quality ingredients, process optimization and custom formula solutions, can rely on AB Mauri’s unique offering of collaborative local support with innovative global capabilities. Please join us daily at IBIE for the following: a tasting of artisanal breads featuring the Aromaferm cereal ferments product line; a sophisticated documentary highlighting AB Mauri and select customers; a state-of-the-art experience that shows you baking like you’ve never seen it before; hand-crafted coffees and sweet goods; and much, much more.

Air Management Technologies, Inc.

Lewisburg, PA


Booth #1035

For over twenty years Air Management Technologies has been a trusted partner to the baking industry worldwide. Our team is appreciative of the reputation earned as the “go to guys” for innovative single source energy, thermal transfer, and environmental process supporting solutions. Our written performance guarantee places the responsibility in our hands, and the life cycle cost savings in yours. Every project is guaranteed to be within budget and operate as specified.

All Food Equipment, LLC

Columbia, TN


Booth #2349

All Food Equipment engineers, designs, and re-manufactures complete processing lines, from the mixing to packaging for a variety of industries, including wholesale bakeries, large retail bakeries, and many other food related suppliers. AFE has a staff of highly qualified technicians that are able to engineer complete line designs, custom manufacture equipment, recondition used equipment, install or remove equipment, customize equipment control systems, plant liquidation, equipment purchasing and more. AFE is your best source for quality new, pre-owned, and refurbished equipment. Check out our booth to learn more about our enrobers, cooling tunnels and about how we can save you money.

Allied Bakery Equipment Co., Inc.

Santa Fe Springs, CA


Booth #5141, #5441, #5447

Allied Bakery Equipment, booths 5141, 5441, 5447, is pleased to have assembled a world-class team of unique suppliers, each best of class, and we look forward to introducing them to you. Renowned bakers Chad Robertson of Tartine Bakery in SF and Dan Leader of Bread Alone in Kingston, NY will be baking live in the Heuft booth. Come learn the advantages of baking with thermal oil. The next generation of retarder-proofers from IceCool will be in use and on display. Minipan will demonstrate their dough refiner, their highly advanced cookie depositing technology, and will make gluten-free pizzas, to be topped by the new precision sauce depositor from Ova Projects, who will also display one of their revolutionary injecting machines. TT-Italy, the world leader for continuous sponge cake lines, will explain their unique turbo-emulsifier, and Soren will show their scrape-surface heat exchanger system for fresh pasteurized creams, sauces, and fillings. Sancassiano, the leading innovator in vertical mixing systems, Tecnopack, for flow wrappers and other packaging solutions, and others make this a visit you must make time for on your IBIE agenda. From artisan bread to continuous cake we can offer the best solutions. We look forward to seeing you at IBIE.

American Bakers Association

Washington, D.C.


Booth #GCL1

The American Bakers Association is the voice of the baking industry in Washington, D.C. Since 1897, ABA has represented the interests of bakers before the U.S. Congress, federal agencies and international regulatory authorities. Working to grow and bolster the baking industry through public policy advocacy, education and networking, ABA fights for policies that strengthen the industry, while protecting it from costly government burdens as bakers produce rolls, crackers, bagels, sweet goods, tortillas and many other wholesome, nutritious products for America’s families. ABA advocates on behalf of more than 1,000 baking facilities and baking company suppliers and brings together industry leaders to share ideas, develop solutions and connect with colleagues. Visit our joint booth with BEMA—the Baking Equipment Manufacturers and Allieds—in the center of the grand concourse lobby.

American Society of Baking

Kansas City, MO


Booth #5023

The American Society of Baking is a community of baking professionals who have joined together to provide continuing education, networking opportunities and professional development. The members include commercial bakers, engineers, food technologists and the suppliers of equipment and ingredients. The Society’s mission is to facilitate this interaction by promoting personal growth and professional development through education and collaboration. It is through the interactions and contributions of our members that we foster mutually meaningful business relationships. Our education process is accomplished through the presentation of technical papers at our Annual Conference, BakingTech and MarketPlace, which are held the first week of March in Chicago.

AM Manufacturing Co.

Munster, IN


Booth #7441

Since 1961, AM Manufacturing is the world leader in dough processing equipment. Located in Munster, Indiana, just outside of Chicago, AM produces dough dividers, dough rounders, pizza/tortilla presses, pizza crust dockers, proofers, cooling conveyors, bagel forming equipment and the expertise to design entire pizza, tortilla and bakery lines. Visit the AM booth and learn how we can provide you with labor-saving equipment, providing consistent results for your dough production process.

American Key Food Products

Closter, NJ



Booth #379

American Key Food Products has been serving the American food industry as a trusted ingredients distributor for over a decade. Our core product portfolio consists of clean label, good -for-you ingredients such as starches and flours made from potatoes, cassava, tapioca, pea and rice. AKFP has aligned itself with the increasingly important healthy ingredient trends. Our products are gluten-free, non-allergenic, and non-GMO.

Ardent Mills

Denver, CO


Booth #9914

Ardent Mills delivers the industry’s broadest range of traditional and organic flours, whole grains, ancient grains, heirloom wheats, customized blends and specialty products, all milled in communities across the country. Join us at booth 9914 to learn more about our on-trend ingredients and our new Simply Milled flours. We’ll also showcase our iconic flour brands you know and trust—like American Beauty, Kyrol, Hummer and King Midas—as well as whole grain innovations like Ultragrain Whole Wheat Flours, Sustagrain High-Fiber Barley and Sprouted White Spring Whole Wheat. And with insight support, risk management and our broad Research, Quality & Tech Support team, we work alongside you every step of the way to bring your new innovations to market.

Arr-Tech Equipment, LLC

Yakima, WA


Booth #1529

Since 1983, Arr-Tech has been designing and producing the most versatile and reliable automated counting, stacking and packaging machinery for the baking industry. Using our modular equipment design, we are able to customize a system to fit within your packaging area. In addition, Arr-Tech offers multifunctional, integrated packaging systems, including: vision inspection/rejection systems—a tool to provide information about and to help manage the production process through detailed and automated reporting, improving quality, reducing waste and cost and increasing competitiveness; bagging, wrapping or multifunctional dual systems for both bagging and wrapping; inline bag sealing, as well as other package closure systems; case erecting and sealing systems. Whether your products are tortillas, frozen waffles or pancakes, pizza crusts, pita or flatbreads, Arr-Tech certifies that adding a time-tested Arr-Tech automation system will improve your bottom line.

Ashworth Bros., Inc.

Winchester, VA


Booth #6911

Ashworth introduces the Omni-Grid 360 Weld belt. This belt is designed to increase capacity, minimize maintenance cost and downtime in the most demanding spiral applications. The heavy duty link design combined with the oversize stainless steel rods make the Omni-Grid 360 Weld belt the strongest, most reliable grid-style spiral and turn-curve belt available on the market today. The Omni-Grid 360 Weld belt is the world’s only patented, lotension grid-style belt with zero-tension, 360° buttonless welds that eliminate cracking commonly found with traditional bridge welds. The 360° buttonless welds increase load bearing capacity and are easier to clean than traditional bridge welds. If product retention is a challenge in your spiral application, integral guard edges with a smooth rounded finish can be provided.

AZO Inc.

Memphis, TN


Booth #5910

AZO. Excellence takes time: 65 years in the making, German Engineering, American service. AZO provides innovative bulk material handling, pneumatic conveying systems, mixer and kneader feeding, screeners and weighing equipment for the reliable automation of production processes for the baking industry. We plan, produce and install systems all over the world for storing, discharging, screening, conveying, dosing and weighing bulk goods, powder components, ingredients, flavorings, ultra-low quantities or fluids. Our systems make sure that all recipe components reach the correct processing operation at the right time and in the right quantity. The AZO Group, with its headquarters in Germany, is a family firm now managed in the 3rd generation. All around the globe our customers benefit from the high quality and reliability of our solutions.

Bakery Technology Enterprises, LLC

Columbia, TN


Booth #2349

Bakery Technology Enterprises, LLC is a manufacturer supplying the baking industry with cost effective, innovative and energy efficient equipment. Designing and custom manufacturing equipment is only a part of what we do. We also refurbish and upgrade your older existing equipment and also offer a complete line of pre-owned equipment. We offer fully insured equipment installation, removal, and relocation. Consulting and Engineering is included in every equipment package. Please contact us and we will put our capabilities to work for you. Stop by our booth to see our Formabar System, a versatile complete bar production line capable of making cereal, nutritional, fruit and nut and many more bars.

Bay State Milling Co.

Quincy, MA


Booth #3928

Bay State Milling expertise spans the entire value chain providing high-quality, plant-based ingredients. Our portfolio includes a wide array of flour, grains and seeds, all of which can be custom-blended to help grow your offerings in new and exciting ways. BeneGrain—choose from the industry’s largest array of sprouted grains and seeds. Ancient grains—certified gluten-free and non-GMO. Organic flours, grains and seeds—a reliable supply of organic ingredients. Baking performance—wheat and rye flours trusted for over 115 years. Rothwell GrainEssentials Center—our talented team helps you stay ahead of consumer demand.


Pasadena, CA


Booth #9724

You have put in the work to make excellent recipes, but as customer tastes change over time and the entire industry responds, your baking business has needed to adapt. The Bellarise team will showcase our fully integrated boutique range of yeasts, dough conditioners, softeners and baking solutions at IBIE 2016, as we highlight exactly how we help bakeries not only adapt to change, but influence it as well. Whether it involves a clean label, or certified organic, kosher, and non-GMO ingredients, our personalized service always makes it easy for us to help. We’re preparing a unique experience for all of our guests, and we would like to visit with you to learn about your brand’s vision and see how we can make it a reality.

Berndorf Belt Technology USA

Gilberts, IL



Booth #10505

Berndorf engineers and manufactures highly quality carbon and stainless steel oven bands, in various widths and thicknesses for the baking industry. Through constant development and innovation, Berndorf is able to provide bake oven belts that exceed the everyday stresses of baking and transporting baked and specialty goods. All belts are produced in endless condition ensuring precise tracking and straightness. The uniformly dark and heat absorbent belt surface further ensures high quality output and reliability. Our steel belts and steel belt systems have proven “Continuous Reliability” when utilized in baking, cooling, deep-freezing, steaming, drying and transporting applications. Visit us at booth 10505 to discuss how a Berndorf belt can improve your production process.

BREDDO Likwifier division of Corbion

North Kansas City, MO


Booth #7414

The BREDDO Likwifier is designed to dissolve solids or semisolids where time, temperature and complete hydration are important. The BREDDO Likwifier is being used extensively throughout the food industry; however, it is specifically used for icing make-up.

Brolite Products, Inc.

Streamwood, IL


Booth #925

Brolite Products has been a leading manufacturer of high quality baking ingredients since 1928. We are more than just a supplier; we create partnerships with our customers. We know the industry demands are constantly changing, and while we are grounded in tradition, we meet challenges with innovation. We’ve created a variety of blends ranging from sours, cultures, grain blends, dough improvers, sweet goods, bases, mixes, concentrates, and tortillas. We can even create customized formulations and specialty blends all here in our SQF Level 3 facility. We are committed to helping our customers create exactly what they need. When it comes to the highest quality and superior ingredients and blends for commercial bakers, Brolite is the number one choice. We’re here to create the perfect blend.

Bühler Group

Plymouth, MN


Booth #9336

Bühler offers first-class solutions tailored to the individual requirements of medium-sized and industrial bakeries. This means working with you at every process stage – from precise and hygienic delivery of dry and liquid ingredients, to accurate weighing through subsequent feeding into the mixer. In addition, system controls allow for customized recipes and can be easily integrated into your production planning process. Visit Bühler at booth 9336 to learn more about our featured equipment: JetMix, Inline Check Sifter MKZI, Online Particle Size Measurement MYTA, NIR Multi Online Analyzer MYRG, and Truck Unloading Screen MKTA.

Capway Automation, Inc.

York, PA


Booth #6213

Capway Automation is a company recognized worldwide for brilliant engineering and its robust line of American-made product-handling equipment for a broad range of industries. Within the bakery industry, though, Capway is best known for the superior quality and performance of their vacuum depanners. This year at IBIE, Capway will unveil the next generation depanner system, one that that will change the industry … forever. One look and you will know this is no small achievement; this is a game changer. Visit our IBIE booth #6213 and see the future … way into the future.

Chef’s Planet

La Verne, CA


Booth #1970

Chef’s Planet Commercial Division is excited to offer a revolutionary nonstick substrate for industrial baking. Our patented film lamination technology offers superior food release and durability over nonstick PTFE and ceramic spray coatings which cannot be applied evenly or with heavy deposition. Uneven spray coated surfaces allow micro pinholes to form in which food, oil and cleaning residues can deposit, deteriorating nonstick properties. Our NEW PTFE film lamination provides a super smooth, even film coating that can be applied thicker than spray coatings and resists micro pinholes for improved functionality and durability. Full sheet pans, baguette and bun trays are available with our new film laminated coating.

Christy Machine Co.

Fremont OH


Booth #1705

For six decades, Christy has solved material dispensing requirements in thousands of applications. As a result, Christy has earned a worldwide reputation for quality machines that work with reliability. Along with this recognition, we have become experts in the top and surface coating fields. Nearly every machine shipped from Christy is customized to fit the user’s specific dispensing or coating situation. Therefore a Christy machine ordered is not coming off the warehouse shelf that you must adapt to your needs; instead you are getting a machine configuration specifically designed to fit your dispensing requirements. Call today—we can help. Please visit us at IBIE booth #1705.

Clabber Girl Corp.

Terre Haute, IN


Booth #1063

Since 1850, Clabber Girl has built our company, and our reputation, on our expertise in chemical leaveners. Through our efforts we became America’s number one retail brand of baking powder. Today, we are much more than baking powder alone. By working with our customers to develop specialized formulas and customized systems, Clabber Girl Corporation is ready to be your baking innovation partner.

Columbus Vegetable Oils

Des Plaines, IL


Booth #152

Columbus has been serving the food industry with the highest quality fats, oils, dressings and sauces since 1936. What began in an Italian grocery store basement on Chicago’s west side has now grown into a 330,000 square foot facility in Des Plaines, IL with 3 in-house R&D labs and a robust certification of achieving SQF Level 3 for the sixth consecutive year. Columbus has remained family owned and operated and committed to our founder’s insistence of consistent high quality, great prices and always there service.



Lenexa, KS

Booth #7414

Corbion is the global leader in lactic acid with cutting edge emulsification technology and functional blending capabilities. With more than 80 years of expertise, we draw on our deep application and market knowledge to work closely with our customers to develop solutions that address challenging and complex problems across a wide range of markets. We deliver high performance biobased products made from renewable resources applied in various foods including bakery, meat, sauces, dressings, refrigerated and prepared foods, confectionery, beverage, and dairy.

Delavau Food Partners

Philadelphia, PA


Booth #727

Delavau Food Partners allows foodservice and consumer brands to improve the eating experience, nutrition, and shelf life of baked goods, snacks, and sweets. Delavau can help you reformulate for a clean label while optimizing the cost-in-use of your formulations, extend the eating experience of fresh and shelf-stable foods for a fresh-from-the-oven taste to last through the last bite, and help your brand stand out with its fortification technology that adds a glass-of-milk level of calcium to breads, sweet goods, chocolate, and compound coatings. Visit Delavau Food Partners at IBIE booth 727 to learn more about its freshness solutions, mold inhibition capabilities, and more.


FlexiBake ERP

Maple Ridge, British Columbia


Booth #1875

FlexiBake ERP helps users control inventory, calculate costs and nutrition, conduct instant recalls, schedule production, organize route and delivery sequences, plus much more. FlexiBake is a modular enterprise resource planning software system designed and built specifically for baking and food manufacturing. The software is available on both the cloud and local installation. Stop by our booth to schedule your complimentary online demonstration and visit our website to start your no obligation 30-day free trial of our proven software. You’ll see why FlexiBake runs baking and manufacturing facilities all over the world in 25 countries and on 6 continents.

Food Plant Engineering, LLC

Cincinnati, OH


Booth #3419

Food Plant Engineering, LLC is your source for bakery and snack plant design and construction. We provide comprehensive solutions for expanding your food production operation. Food safety: Our mission is planning, designing, and building sanitary bakery, snack and food processing facilities. It’s what we have been doing for the last 60 years. We tackle a variety of projects throughout the U.S., from small additions and renovations to large new plants. Planning: Grow your business by implementing our master planning services. Design: Design your bakery using our trusted professionals. Construction: Construct your bakery or food processing operation with our engineering led design-build approach.


Santa Barbara, CA


Booth #9519

FoodTools manufactures the leading portioning equipment for bakeries producing fresh and frozen desserts. Since 1983 bakers have used FoodTools machines to cut, slice, press, and portion cheesecake, pie, layer cake, loaves, butter, cheese, pizza, tortillas, and more. FoodTools offers mechanical and ultrasonic solutions that support start-up bakeries and high production commercial facilities alike. Small standalone machines can be used in manual baking facilities and large inline robotic solutions aid in high speed production. Visit the FoodTools booth to discuss your bakery products and which machine solutions will help improve quality, consistency, and efficiency.

Gold Coast Ingredients

Commerce, CA


Booth #717

Gold Coast Ingredients is a privately held and operated, wholesale flavor and color manufacturer that has been satisfying taste since 1985. We are a GFSI and AIB certified company capable of serving all types of industries from food and beverages to animal treats and oral care. With us you will find organic, natural, non-GMO, allergen-free and other clean label flavors that take your most delicious ideas and translate them into a universal language for the world to enjoy. Our flavors are available as liquids, powders, powder encapsulations, emulsions and advanced extractions to be compatible with any product requirements. GCI also supplies custom, QAI certified organic, ISA certified halal, OU certified or KOF-K certified kosher flavors upon request.

Grain Craft

Chattanooga, TN


Booth #11415

Grain Craft has a time-honored, personal commitment to the flour milling business. We are the largest independent flour miller in the US. We have developed lasting relationships with American farmers to grow and harvest the best varieties of wheat for your baking needs. Each of our 15 mills is run by experienced millers who believe in the art of providing wholesome and nutritious flour. This is our story. Let us be a part of yours.

Grote Co.

Columbus, OH

888-53-GROTE (888-534-7683)


Booth #7245, #7445

Grote Co. will showcase the latest in pizza and sandwich line technology at IBIE 2016, including complete pizza topping and sandwich assembly lines. From pepperoni slicers and border-free (spot) topping and sauce depositors, to bread cutters, slicer/applicators, and sandwich conveyor CIP/belt washing systems, Grote has a solution for automating today’s most demanding pizza and sandwich assembly applications. Stop by booths 7245 and 7445 for a full demonstration of our exciting new technology!

Healthy Food Ingredients (SK Food, Hesco, Suntava)

Fargo, ND


Booth #1132

Healthy Food Ingredients (HFI) is a family of specialty ingredient brands which include SK Food, Hesco and Suntava, that provide non-GMO, organic, certified transitional, gluten-free, and identity preserved ingredients, including grains, seeds, pulses, soybeans, expeller oils, Suntava Purple Corn, processed to meet unique application needs. We’re dedicated to providing supply assurance through our diverse grower network and delivering safe, healthy premium quality ingredients from seed to table.

Heat and Control Inc.

Hayward, CA



Booth #1827

Heat and Control provides complete equipment systems for a wide variety of fried and baked foods. Systems include fryers and ovens, heat recovery and pollution controls, FastBack seasoning applicators, conveyors and product distribution, Spray Dynamics coating systems, packaging platforms, control systems, Ishida weighers, snack bagmakers, tray sealers, checkweighers, X-ray inspection, and CEIA metal detectors. We provide pre- and post-sale support, including engineering, applications assistance, equipment demonstrations, technical center services, installation, service, parts and training.

Hinds-Bock Corp.

Bothell, WA


Booth #4826

Hinds-Bock Corp. is dedicated to meeting the needs of the baking and food processing industries with high-quality, piston depositing equipment, pumps, icers/glazers and cake slicers. The company’s equipment ranges from small tabletop muffin depositors to high-volume industrial lines, which include tray and paper-cup denesters, pan oilers, large intermediate hoppers, dry ingredient depositors for toppings, servo-driven conveyors and PLC controls. Hinds-Bock manufactures servo-driven pump fillers for high-speed depositing and spreading of product; servo piston depositors for automatic depositing and spreading of icings, fruits, batters and sauces; standardized and custom piston filling and depositing machines and systems; and piston transfer pumps. Many options are available, including heated or cooled machines; hopper agitation; diving, traveling or orbital spout movement; and pressure-fed machines for extremely viscous products. Our engineers provide on-site installation and turnkey startup support. We have a test facility to run customer provided product samples to evaluate filling characteristics and determine agitation and spout requirements. Tests are typically videotaped, so customers can observe the deposit configuration.

Inclusion Technologies, LLC

Atchison, KS 66002


Booth #1672

Inclusion Technologies is a full-line supplier of custom inclusions including our very unique 100 percent nut-free Nadanut nut extenders and replacers, Bits-O-Flavor sweet and fruit flavored nuggets and flakes, coated flavored sugars, and Klusters custom agglomerates. We have traditional, non-GMO (some Non-GMO Project Verified), allergen-free, and clean-labeled products made with natural colors and flavors. We will be demonstrating these innovative ingredients in a range of 100 percent nut-free finished products including brownies, cookies, and bars; the Nadanut products provide the look, taste, and crunch of nuts but without the nut-allergens or high costs. Inclusions can add the signature stamp to your products, and we can help to design specifically what you want for your ?application.

IOI Loders Croklaan

Channahon, IL


Booth #9141

IOI Loders Croklaan is a key global producer of fats and oils servicing the food industry and is the largest provider of replacements for partially hydrogenated oils in the US. Researching, exploring and developing new applications for these ingredients for the food, feed and health industries worldwide has been our business for more than 110 years. Today, IOI Loders Croklaan is dedicated to being an outstanding supplier of palm-based fractions to the food industry around the world.

J.C. Ford Company

La Habra, CA


Booth #2235

Since 1945 J.C. Ford has been committed to providing automated equipment and service to the growing tortilla and tortilla chip industry. Today, with the growing popularity of flatbreads around the world and tortilla chips being one of the fastest growing snacks, J.C. Ford is helping the industry meet today’s challenges with greater automation and product expertise. It is this combination of state-of-the-art equipment and product knowledge that is providing the needed solutions around the world.

Koenig Bakery Systems

Ashland, VA


Booth #6541

In line with the booth motto “Brilliant Performance,” Koenig Bakery Systems will present machines and lines with outstanding features, that give bread that final touch and turn dough into pieces of jewelry. One highlight will be the industrial dough sheeting line Menes with a large product variety – ranging from Ciabatta, Baguette up to bread and pastry. Koenig also features the modular bread roll line Combiline. The line enables the production of various rolls, such as Kaiser rolls, Portuguese rolls, hamburger buns, etc. Further highlights are the wash-down twin twist mixer DW 240-H in hygienic design “H”, the energy-efficient rack oven Roto Passat SE and the dough divider/rounder Mini Rex Multi with new forming station, particularly suitable for bolillos and teleras.


Algona, IA


Booth #2155

With almost 40 years of expertise and proven success in the food processing equipment industry, KOFAB is a global manufacturer of quality stainless steel products. We use only the finest materials and run a complete quality and performance check on all equipment we produce. This extra attention to detail, from concept to delivery, allows us to guarantee to our customers a quick installation with quality products that will last a life time. Since no applications are the same, we are proud to offer customized designs tailored to your most challenging and unique demands, backed by our multiple patents in our distinct engineered products, and a dedicated and skilled team of professionals who contribute to the company’s success.

Kwik Lok Corp.

Yakima, WA


IBIE Booth #9119

Kwik Lok Corp., the leading manufacturer in bag closing, coding and labeling solutions for the baking industry, is pleased to announce the introduction of its’ new KLC-S Bread Band Slicer at IBIE 2016. The KLC-S Slicer comes equipped with a bag blower, and along with the KLC-C closing conveyor and Kwik Lok bag closing system, is manufactured to raise the quality and output of small industrial bakeries worldwide. Kwik Lok is also proud to be showing the next generation in coding options with CO2 laser, UV and TIJ printing technologies, and will be offering IBIE attendees the opportunity to see the next generation Eco-Friendly bag closure as well. Whether closures, labels, or traceability, Kwik Lok is the right solution, for the right time.

Lawrence Equipment

South El Monte, CA


Booth #6330

Lawrence Equipment is the world’s leader in the sale of pressed production lines. Most versions of non-yeast flat bread varieties can be made on any Lawrence line. Production lines rate from 1,000 pieces per hour to 40,000 pieces per hour. Lawrence will be showing their latest Mega 52 press, the Accuview IV quality inspection system as well as state of the art mixer, divider, sheeter and bagging equipment. Lawrence Equipment will also be presenting the international Wrap Café featuring various ethnic cuisines in a variety of pressed flat breads. Stop by and see them at their booth #6330 or call 800-423-4500 to obtain more information.


Baxter, MN


Booth #465

It’s fresh and safe. It’s obvious LINDAR is committed to innovation. We pioneered the development of tamper obvious two-piece pie and cake containers, bringing an intuitive design and easy-to-handle package to the marketplace. Available in the two-piece and hinged varieties, LINDAR’S Simply Secure Packaging has special tabs that snap into place to secure the package and your products. To open the package, the perforated tabs can be simply torn off, making it user friendly, while easily identifiable if the container has been opened. Our line of tamper obvious food packaging is designed to safely display bakery products including bars, brownies, cakes, pies, muffins and cupcakes as well as other items. LINDAR’s tamper obvious packaging includes a built-in freshness seal and visually appealing design to show off your products in a safe, fresh and secure way.

Moline Machinery LLC

Duluth, MN


Booth #8330

Moline Machinery is a leading supplier of high capacity donut and sweet goods systems, sheeting/makeup lines, precision topping systems, rotary cutters, and more. Moline has the answer to your high-volume production needs. For top quality, high efficiency equipment with excellent service, look no further. At IBIE Moline will be showing a cake donut system with integrated glazing and topping stations. This system includes a Libra dual-fuel fryer and DonutKing cake donut depositor. The glazing and side-load topping systems are both equipped with automated ingredient recovery to maximize ROI. The sheeting and makeup line includes the latest in sanitary design and stamping technology. The RAM feeder and rotary cutters round out the display. Moline … Profit From Our Experience.


Kansas City, MO


Booth #1841

MULTIVAC is passionately focused on contributing to our customers’ success by delivering innovative and reliable packaging solutions and superior support services. As one of the leading providers of packaging solutions used to pack a range of products, worldwide. Our product portfolio covers nearly every need of the customer and includes thermoformers, tray-sealers, chamber machines, labeling, quality inspection, packaging films, and much more. Our customers benefit from our profound knowledge of processes and systems and from an integrated advisory service all from one source.

North Dakota Mill

Grand Forks, ND 58208


Booth #1755

Since 1922 quality-conscious bakers, who have wanted the best, have reached for North Dakota Mill products. North Dakota Mill has grown up in the heart of the hard red spring wheat and durum country. That means we mill the best quality wheat and durum for superior quality, purity, and uniformity. The North Dakota Mills products are of the highest standards and demand excellent performance and profitability in the finished products. North Dakota Mill has a long history in the milling industry and we have strived to fulfill the needs of our customers with the best quality flour to ensure our customers get the best results in their finished products.

Parker Products

Fort Worth, TX


Booth #773

Imagine biting into a French toast donut: crunch-chew-relish the praline pecans; savor the maple glaze. That’s no ordinary donut. Without Parker Products, it would be. As a maker of food products, you have the opportunity to stimulate taste buds and loyalty. You do this with intriguing ingredients. You do this with Parker Products. Our inclusions, flavor systems, and grinds help you engage customers and add value. Our extensive line of specialty ingredients helps create intriguing applications by promoting desirable qualities like a more appealing mouthfeel or a striking flavor. To learn more about Parker’s capabilities, visit IBIE booth 773 or

Pfannenberg Inc.

Lancaster, NY


Booth #9247

Pfannenberg is a global manufacturer of products and solutions developed to keep critical plant operations online and personnel safe. Our product portfolio includes: thermal management of enclosure electronics, liquid cooling with packaged chillers for machinery, and signaling devices for industrial safety and efficiency. Visit booth #9247 at IBIE 2016 to learn more about our solutions designed for food and beverage applications. Protecting Man, Machine and the Environment … since 1954.

Processing Resources International Inc.

Plainfield, IL


Booth #2343

Proc-X is your source for manufacturing quality products while maintaining efficiency and sustainability. Our mixing kettles, fillers, and cook/chill/fill process lines provide chefs with precise and consistent programs for superior bakery ingredients including frostings, glazes, and fillings. Proc-X products feature precision controls of time and temperature, HAACP recordings, and high efficient automatic programs to save labor costs while producing high quality products.


Canton, MA


Booth #8319, #8719

Reiser will feature live demonstrations of their complete line of Vemag bakery equipment. The Vemag is a single machine that incorporates many innovative attachments specifically designed to produce consistent, high-quality bakery products. Attachments can be swapped out in minutes allowing you to easily produce a wide variety of products. The Vemag can be used as a dough divider to produce breads, rolls, buns, English muffins and pizza dough. The Vemag can be used as a depositor to accurately portion cookie dough, nutrition bars, fillings and batters onto moving or stationary lines. It is ideal for any depositing task where placement and weight control is needed. The Vemag can also be used as a sheeter to extrude smooth, uniform sheets of batter and dough with consistent thickness and width.

SensoryEffects, a division of Balchem

St. Louis, MO

866-639-6002, ext. 4

Booth #362

SensoryEffects, a division of Balchem is a leading provider of value-added food and beverage ingredients and is comprised of five synergistic business segments including: Powder Systems, Flavor Systems, Encapsulates, Inclusions and Cereal Systems. We provide targeted nutritional wellness solutions for all ages, leveraging our leading position in the choline (VitaCholine) and chelated minerals (Albion Minerals) markets. In working as your partner, we elevate your products to the next level by providing customized ingredient solutions for your finished product applications. Our agglomeration technology also provides exceptional powder dissolution performance, through a wide range of hot and cold single serve beverage applications. Work with us to deliver the power of powder, essential nutrition, trending flavors and convenience to your customized health-and-wellness products.


Petersburgh NY


Booth #3034

Taconic has extensive experience in engineering nonstick materials for food processing applications. Our TefBake and other brands have assisted QSR and foodservice producers for over 30 years in food prep, microwave, freezer, cooking/pre-cooking and baking applications. Optimal release and temperature resistance from -100°F to 500°F (-73°C to 260°C) make our PTFE products ideal for use as cooking belts, reusable pan liners food crisping mats, and as nonstick mats for rolling out dough and releasing sticky ingredients on work surfaces. Taconic’s PTFE open mesh and non-mesh trays, liners and belts offer durability, resistance to grease penetration and puncture resistance.


Wire Belt Co. of America

Londonderry, NH


Booth #9610

Wire Belt Co. is the most trusted manufacturer of open mesh stainless steel conveyor belts. We have been keeping your lines running for more than 65 years. Our conveyor belts are used extensively in applications such as baking, battering, dusting, and cooling. At IBIE, stop by Wire Belt’s booth 9610 where we will be highlighting our innovative Compact-Grid conveyor belt. Compact Grid is one of the most durable conveyor belts available offering numerous advantages. These advantages include: excellent product support, 70 percent open area for better more consistent product heating and cooling, easy installation with no welding required, and many more. To learn more about Compact-Grid and Wire Belt’s full range of products, please visit us at booth 9610.

Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery

Deerfield, IL


Booth #1324

Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery, sponsor of the IBIE 2016 B.E.S.T. in Baking Program, covers snack and bakery industry trends related to new products, ingredients, equipment, technology and packaging to help improve business issues throughout product development, including research and development, supply-chain management, formulation, processing, packaging, warehousing and distribution. Our annual State of the Industry reports—one for snack foods and one for baked goods—define where the industry and markets are today, and where they are heading. Our readership consists of top executives, marketing professionals, food scientists, bakers, production managers and technical experts, as well as at supporting businesses.


Moonachie, NJ


Fax: 201-229-9878

Booth #7007

RONDO showcases many innovations at IBIE. True to the motto “Dough-how and more,” RONDO presents innovations for the production of premium bakery products at booth #7007. The Swiss manufacturer of dough processing machines and systems will be exhibiting many innovations and enhancements for artisanal and automated as well for industrial production. As always, welcoming visitors to the RONDO booth will be the combined expertise of the whole RONDO team, available to answer questions on all aspects of manufacturing processes and production equipment for baked goods. The new unit “RONDO Industrial Solutions,” an independent group for consultation and sales of industrial equipment, will also be available to provide advice for industrial customers and act as a consultant and technology provider.

State of the Industry 2016: Bars continue to address diverse lifestyle needs (Snackfood & Wholesale Bakery)

By | In the News | No Comments

Melissa Kvidahl

The bars category continues show good to strong levels of growth, with sufficiently diversified product offerings to appeal to nearly every type of shopper. Few product categories so seamlessly fit into today’s on-the-go lifestyle suited to on-demand snacking.

“The market is growing because bars fit perfectly into our lifestyle,” says Dave Caucutt, vice president of sales and technical services, Lawrence Foods Inc., Elk Grove Village, IL. “We are a mobile society eating many of our meals on the run. Millennials have propelled us all to change to become a snacking culture. And bars carry a healthy halo because they are often fortified to provide a balanced meal alternative.”

Market data

It’s not surprising that bars, appealing to consumers seeking on-the-go snacking, meal replacement options and nutrition, are going strong. According to IRI, Chicago, sales of snack and granola bars grew 4.78 percent in dollar sales for the 52 weeks ending April 17, 2016, reaching $5.9 billion.

The “all other” snack/granola bar segment—representing products that don’t easily fit into the breakfast/cereal/snack, granola and nutritional/intrinsic value segments—saw the strongest growth, up 101.38 percent in dollar sales for the year. General Mills posted the most-notable gains, up 347.97 percent in dollar sales. The company also saw a 14.83 percent dollar sales gain for its breakfast/cereal/snack bars. General Mills offers multiple brands of bars, includingNature Valley, Lärabar, Fiber One, Annie’s, Cascadian Farm and Epic, with the latter bringing meat-focused products into the mix.

Nature Valley saw growth of 177.64 percent in all other snack/granola bars and 9.71 percent for its Sweet & Salty granola bars line. But the real standout for the brand was in the breakfast/cereal/snack bars segment, where its Roasted Nut Crunch line grew by 485.43 percent in dollar sales.

The granola bars segment saw growth of 2.4 percent in dollar sales to $1.7 billion. In this segment, KIND Healthy Snacks posted 73.85 percent growth in dollar sales to or $95.2 million. In nutritional/intrinsic health, KIND saw growth of 12.50 percent.

But the most-notable growth in nutritional/intrinsic health was from protein-bar specialist, Quest Nutrition LLC, which saw its bars increase 252.93 percent in dollar sales to nearly $162 million.

Looking back

“With consumers becoming increasingly health-conscious, it’s no surprise that several of the top claims are targeted toward this audience,” says Abby Ceule, director of market management brands, Corbion Caravan, Lenexa, KS. “These claims include gluten-free, GMO-free and organic. Additionally, we are seeing bars with high source of protein and fiber call-outs.”

Indeed, healthy labels are the top trend demanded by today’s bar consumer. However, what constitutes “healthy” runs the gamut.

Protein barsremain in demand. Quest Nutrition is a leader in this segment, and its Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough bar, made with milk and whey protein, is a top seller.

Plant proteins are taking center stage at DuPont Nutrition & Health, St. Louis, which offers a line of soy protein isolates and nuggets developed specifically for use in nutritional bars. “In addition to providing the protein consumers desire and the crunch that increases overall liking, these soy protein ingredients help control the bar texture to deliver on the shelf life requirement needed to succeed in the market,” says Greg Paul, Ph.D., marketing director, nutrition bars and beverages, North America, for the company.

Mamma Chia brought diversity to the bar category in 2014 with its introduction of its organic Chia Vitality bars. Chia offers a source of plant-based protein, omega-3s and other nutritional perks.

KIND also saw strong sales performance over the past year. Its new Healthy Grains Popped Bars include amaranth, buckwheat, millet, oats, quinoa and sorghum, and innovatively feature popcorn as an ingredient.

According to Jamie Wilson, director of marketing and culinary innovation at Parker Products Inc., Fort Worth, TX, ancient grains are also gracing bar labels, thanks to their health benefits and their ability to complement in-demand flavors like sriracha, chile, salted caramel or curry. “In keeping with that trend, we have seen a lot of recent success with our agave-glazed quinoa ingredient,” Wilson adds.

That said, the bar category’s biggest clean-label challenge comes in the form of lowering sugar content. “Bars require a binder?something to keep the ingredients together?and that’s generally a sweetener,” says Wilson. “For an application that consumers perceive as a healthier snack option, that’s a problem when the sweetener is unhealthy.”

Sweeteners that can build label appeal include agave syrup, maple syrup, sweet potato juice concentrate, and fruit ingredients, including fruit fibers and purées and juices.

Fiber continues to attract health-conscious shoppers, and General Mills has found success with its Fiber One bars, often with controlled calorie counts and added protein.

Fiberstar, River Falls, WI, offers the Citri-Fi 100 series, a natural fiber derived from citrus pulp. According to the company’s food technologist, Amanda Wagner, Citri-Fi’s native pectin content translates to unique gelling properties, and the line includes fibers in different particle sizes, which can create different textures from pulpy to smooth in the finished product. “This natural fiber can be labeled citrus fiber, dried citrus pulp or citrus flour,” she adds, “which all resonate well with the clean-label consumer base.”

Demands for healthy snack bars are also transforming how we think about diet foods. According to Paul, “The weight-management category has undergone essentially a complete shift away from weight loss to weight wellness, effectively capturing active-lifestyle consumers looking to maintain weight, in addition to former core weight loss consumers.” This has translated, he says, to the increased presence of unique seeds, nuts, grains and fruits, along with plant proteins, in bar offerings.

According to the Almond Board of California, Modesto, CA, bars with almonds accounted for 13 percent of the bar category’s new product introductions in 2014, with almonds leading other nuts in the bar category.

Portion-controlled and bite-sized offerings also factor into weight management. Over the past year, thinkThin introduced Protein Bites and Protein Nut Bites. The company saw significant gains over the 52 weeks ending April 17, per IRI.

Craig Collett, sales and marketing director, Bosch Packaging Technology Inc, New Richmond, WI, sees weight management influencing packaging solutions. “The on-the-go bar trend engulfing the market requires flexible packaging options, such as flow wrappers,” he says, “which are flourishing as the prime packaging style, reaching the number one packaging format for both regular size bars and bite-size products.”

To meet demand, Bosch Packaging Technology offers the Pack Series of horizontal flow wrappers, which range from entry-level models (such as the Pack 101, which accommodates a wide range of product sizes) to fully automated technologies (such as the Pack 401, which can be used as stand-alone equipment or combined with other processing and packaging machines).

Looking forward

“Customized nutrition will continue to be a great opportunity,” says Jennifer Stephens, vice president of marketing, Fiberstar, citing bars made for specific genders, lifestyles, life stages, activities, diets and medical conditions as holding untapped market potential. “The trick within this category is offering a bar positioned to a captive audience that is large enough to justify the product’s existence,” she says. “Otherwise, it is just another nutrition/snack bar crowding the bar grocery aisle.” She notes particular areas of interest include allergen-free offerings, as well as those that can offer sustained energy.

Collett suggests that the future holds more promise for true meal replacements in bar form, as they offer a healthier option over fast food meals, while “providing the right amount of nutrition in an easy-to-carry format.”

Bars of the future may be targeted toward different consumers altogether. “While current bars skew heavily toward adults, from millennials through Gen X through boomers, we feel the next wave will focus on child and senior nutrition,” says Caucutt.

Brian Gaffney, vice president of dehydrated ingredient sales, Carolina Innovative Food Ingredients, Nashville, NC, also sees much potential in highly nutritious, kid-friendly bars. “Several major brands have rolled out products that fit this profile recently,” he says. “Two things likely drive the trend: First, as snack companies experience growth from the general strength of the market, they are able to pursue greater segmentation. Secondly, bars make sense as a more-healthy, clean-label snack for parents to give their children.”

But, says Paul, perhaps more important than any trend, “innovation will continue to characterize the nutrition bar market. This is an industry with a relatively low barrier to entry, so competitors will come and go with regularity. However, the consumer trends driving the bar market?convenience and nutrition?are here to stay.”