The Innovator: Steven Verweij

Steven Verweij, President of Dawn Foods Europe and AMEAP shares with International Bakery the importance of working with customers, sharing insights and using innovation to drive bakery forward.

What inspired your vegan bakery range? 

There is no better time for bakers to get involved in vegan products than now, as overall interest in veganism is experiencing rapid growth. Dawn’s vision is to inspire bakery success every day, and we recognised this as an exciting opportunity to partner with our customers to help them successfully respond to this trend, incorporating our industry-leading vegan product innovations in their product offering. When developing our vegan range, we addressed the common customer sentiment that there were “no good vegan products in market.”  

Our number one priority is taste, to ensure customer (and consumer) satisfaction we prioritise the flavour profile and functionality of our vegan products with the goal of having the same delicious taste and performance as our non-vegan products. We are able to offer products across different categories to enable bakers and bakery manufacturers to “veganise” complete applications. We offer fully vegan certified products like pastry mixes, custard creams and fonds and naturally vegan products like fruit fillings, glazes, compounds and fondants. 

What is the value of innovations such as your latest doughnut glaze? 

We pride ourselves on the fact that our innovations and imagination is focused on advancing bakery. Innovations are vital to progress and to continue to grow the bakery industry. As customers, markets and consumers’ needs evolve and innovation helps to solve issues that arise.  

Our new patent pending solution for doughnut manufacturers, Dawn Exceptional® Non-Sticky Donut Glaze solves the challenge of maintaining the freshness and appeal of glazed doughnuts in packaging. Dawn’s solution uses a proprietary formulation that prevents moisture from migrating from the doughnut to the glaze. As a result, the doughnut glaze remains highly stable and non-sticky for several days.  

How are you supporting your partnerships? 

Dawn Foods began as a small bakery selling great tasting doughnuts in the United States. Because of this, we know firsthand the challenges that our different customers (small or big) go through. Our position allows for a strong collaboration where we can bring bakery expertise, creative solutions and inspiring ideas to nurture long lasting partnerships.  

Our Market Research Teams offers global in-depth knowledge based on local insights, providing marketing support and product portfolios according to current market trends. We bring innovative product solutions to help grow and drive our customer’s business forward. Our Technical Application Specialists support our customers, to ensure that ideas and innovations come to life. We stand by our customers.   

How are you helping your customers to meet the latest bakery trends? 

We are dedicated to being our customers’ partner for insights, inspiration, and driver of overall bakery success. Every three years Dawn launches a comprehensive bakery trends report, where our Global Market Research & Insights teams research the most significant changes in consumer behavior, including fielding a global study across our regions. We support our customers by providing inspiring ideas and new recipes where these trends come to life.  Our most recent trends report can be found on our website. 

Do you see demands differing across your customers? What kind of demands do an artisanal bakery have, for example, compared with a supermarket bakery? 

Yes, there are different demands across the different types of customers, driven by the purchasing behaviours of consumers…

Read the full feature in our free to download magazine.

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Media contact

Caitlin Gittins
Editor, International Bakery
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 920

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