bake - April 2018 - 11
Innovation and Expansion
A C O N V E R S AT I O N W I T H T O M B E N N E R ,
PRESIDENT AND CEO OF LESAFFRE YEAST CORPORATION AND RED STAR YEAST
Q: Custom solutions are a new buzzword for
bakery ingredient and manufacturing. How does
Lesaffre plan to address the growing demand for
custom baking solutions with its new blending
plant, set to open at your industrial campus in
Cedar Rapids, Iowa?
TB: Our customers are looking to reach customers
with more unique and artisan approaches to their
products. To be a valued partner in this endeavor, we need to be resourceful, fast and agile. We
have put years into developing a deep library of
enzymes, which can be specialized to the need of
the customer and used for many complex blends.
Our investment locally will ensure we react and
move at the speed our customers want to go and
allow for rapid turnaround of samples for testing
and ﬁnished products.
This newest facility will bring the best technology
from our other blending sites around the world.
We will be fully automated and ﬂexible enough to
handle a wide range of products and ingredients.
But on top of all the hardware we have installed,
our highly capable top-quality people are what
we consider to be our ﬁrst and most important
advantage. If you speak with any of our customers, the conversation quickly migrates to how
good our people are, and we are very proud of
Q: Clean label has evolved into a broad term that
encompasses the rising consumer demand for
bakery products with fewer, but more recognizable
ingredients. How is Lesaffre addressing this issue
on a comprehensive scale?
TB: We are responding to this trend with new
products and our new facility in Cedar Rapids to
produce clean label products. With this new facility
we will offer a complete line of baking ingredients
that satisﬁes our customers' requirements for producing clean label breads and other baked goods.
Q: Lesaffre is a true pioneer and the ﬁrst to offer
organic yeast in fresh and dry forms produced in
the United States. How do you see the potential for
growth of organic bakery products in North America, and how does Lesaffre play an instrumental
role in the organic market?
TB: Consumers are looking for more organic
options, and we currently offer yeast solutions in
all forms of organic baking. Our product has superior performance, which is on par with our best
commercial grades. In addition, we are developing organic solutions in our baking ingredients to
satisfy our customers' desire to capitalize on this
signiﬁcant growth trend.
Q: Considering the rich history of innovation at
Lesaffre, what factors have been instrumental in
the company growing into its current position as
a world leader in yeast research, technology and
TB: Two factors are instrumental. One is operating in close proximity to our customers. By being
close to our customers, we are able to make our
investments count - whether in research, capabilities, or capacities like our new blending facility
in Cedar Rapids. We knew it was critical for our
capacity to be here in North America, where we
can provide ﬂexibility and responsiveness.
Second, we are committed to research and
development and advancing our technology.
Our commitment to research and development
is demonstrated by the longevity of our research
teams, our many years of experience, and our
broad depth of
knowledge. Being a
family-held company for more than
160 years gives us
patience and a longterm view. We have a
Q: How important is the fact that Lesaffre has 38
Baking Centers® around the world to address the
needs of commercial bakers?
TB: It is extremely important. We often hear from
our customers how valuable it is to them that we
have Baking Centers® in all parts of the world. This
allows us to bring together a wealth of experience
in different types of products. It also allows us to
support global customers with their local needs,
wherever in the world they may be located. Sharing knowledge and new product development are
very important. Having 38 Baking Centers® in all
parts of the world allows Lesaffre to get closer to
the markets and anticipate the needs of bakers.
Q: How does Lesaffre respond to the challenges
of North American customers by tapping into its
global network of expertise?
TB: Our global network allows us to be an innovation resource to our customers. It also makes
us more resourceful at solving their problems.
Local traditions in bread making are very rich and
diverse as you circle the globe. We collaborate with
our key customers on new product ideas. We offer
solutions for innovation in new tastes and ﬂavors
from around the world. We can pull ideas from a
very broad experience base, and our customers
love the results.
at 1-800-770-2714 or
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of bake - April 2018