AAK: Insights, Innovation
AAK hosts AAK Academy events to give customers hands-on learning, consumer insights in bakery and confectionery segments
AAK USA Inc., one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high value-adding specialty vegetable fats and oils, recently hosted a “Bakery Academy” at their newest Customer Innovation Center in Louisville, Ky., and a “Confectionery Academy” at their Chocolate and Confectionery Lab in Edison, N.J.
AAK, known around the world for its co-development process, regularly hosts AAK Academy™ learning events, providing opportunities for knowledge sharing to inspire forward-thinking innovation in new product development.
“We were excited to have customers join us for our recent Bakery and Confectionery Academies,” said Dr. James Jones, vice president-customer innovation, AAK USA Inc. “Each Academy is led by our Customer Innovation Team who put together a series of short courses to provide training, knowledge and understanding of fats and their many functions in food products and processes. This includes everything from a course on fat chemistry to engaging lab demonstrations, with tips to enhance ideation all the way through to development, production and successful new product launches.”
The Bakery Academy included a deep dive into consumer insight and trends driving sales in the segment, with Mintel sharing the latest data and trend forecasts. Tastepoint presented flavor trends predictions for the bakery segment and led a flavor training session. Attendees also learned more about AAK’s Flaked Shortening and the advantages of its use in sweet baked goods. Hands-on demos included a chiffon snack cake featuring AAK’s multi-function Shortening Flakes and a shortbread cookie experiment that demonstrated the unique finished product features and benefits of five different AAK fats and oils.
The Confectionery Academy included several hands-on application labs, and attendees learned more about compound coatings and filling fats. Several hands-on demos gave everyone the opportunity to work with AAK’s CEBESTM and SILKOTM brand fats for compound coatings, showcasing several AAK solutions to meet and exceed functionality and performance needs of finished consumer products. Filling fats were the focus of another consumer product demo in which attendees worked with a chocolate peanut butter filling made with AAK’s CONFAOTM brand of filling fats. Kemin Food Technologies also presented their range of antioxidants options that are available to meet desired shelf life in confectionery applications.
“We are very pleased with the feedback we received on both Academies,” said Dr. Jones. “We value our customer partnerships and are thrilled to have the opportunity to engage in these practical hands-on training sessions. Attendees walk away with broader and deeper understandings and are better positioned to achieve success with their next new product innovation. AAK continues to support the industry, working side by side with customers at our Customer Innovation Centers. Our co-development approach and large toolbox of plant-based multi-source and function fats and oils are helping create—and accelerate the speed to market of—better-for-you foods that look and taste great.”
Additional AAK Academies are planned throughout 2019 in Edison, N.J.; Louisville, Ky., and the soon to open Global Center of Excellence in “Plant-Based Dairy” in Richmond, Calif.
AAK is a leading provider of value-adding vegetable oils & fats. Our wide range of raw materials, broad process capabilities, and expertise in oils & fats within food applications enable us to develop innovative and value-adding solutions across many industries – Chocolate & Confectionery, Bakery, Dairy, Special Nutrition, Food Service, Personal Care, and more. AAK’s proven expertise is based on more than 140 years of experience within oils & fats. Our unique Co-Development approach brings our customers’ skills and know-how together with our own capabilities and mindset for lasting results. Listed on the NASDAQ OMX Stockholm and with our headquarters in Malmö, Sweden, AAK has 20 production facilities and customization plants, sales offices in more than 25 countries and more than 3,000 employees.