Jean-Christophe Kremer, secretary general of FEDIMA, the bakery industry suppliers’ body, told BakeryAndSnacks.com that developing pan-industry promotional campaigns for bread and patisserie products would be the focus of the association’s General Assembly, which takes place on 16 September in Krakow, Poland.
“We ran a successful workshop on this last year, so this year we decided to run a business session looking at how the industry can promote the consumption of bread via campaigns funded by bakery industry associations rather than individual companies. We have case studies of such campaigns from Belgium and Spain, so the idea is to discuss best practices and how it could be done in other member states,” he said.
According to figures from the Federation of Bakers, bread consumption in western Europe is stable, although it varies greatly from country to country. The Germans and Austrians eat the most bread at about 80kg per person per year while the UK and Ireland are bottom of the list with annual consumption of less than 50kg.
Decline in consumption
However, the long term view points to a gradual decline in bread consumption, said Kremer, as consumers turn to substitutes like cereal bars and breakfast cereals, and it is this downwards trend that the industry wants to reverse.
He emphasised that such campaigns can only succeed with the buy-in of the whole supply chain.
“Our members don’t produce end-products, so it’s difficult for us to take the lead. That’s why we have to work with our colleagues in artisan and industrial bakers’ associations.”
He cited Belgium as a good example of the collaborative approach. Here, Unifa (the Belgian bakery ingredient suppliers association), millers, equipment suppliers, and industrial and craft bakers are cooperating on a three-year campaign. Highlights so far have included the launch of ‘national bread day’ in Belgium (12 October), a promotional website at www.alledagenbrood.be and print advertising.
Kremer said campaigns could centre on a range of factors, from driving new usage occasions to presenting bread as a nutritional staple that can be consumed on a daily basis.
The business session will also include a discussion on how the industry can use social media, led by Simone Bosselli, a director at advertising agency Hill & Knowlton. Also on the agenda is a legal session, looking at what can and can’t be said in communication materials.
At last year’s meeting the main topic of discussion was carbon footprinting, and according to Kremer, much progress has been made in this area in the last 12 months.
“We have developed a guidance document to enable bakery ingredient suppliers to calculate greenhouse gas emissions and a tool that allows them to work out CO2 equivalents.”
The new guidance will be presented to FEDIMA members at a workshop on 13 October.