BRIEFLY | Cookies are tops in recent survey; small business outlook is positive | for more news in the baking world, check out our website, www.bakersjournal.com Canadians love their cookies New research from Mintel indicates that 72 per cent of Canadians eat cookies*, making it by far and away the nation’s most popular sweet baked good in the survey. Other top contenders making the list of Canada’s favourite baked goods include muffins (57 per cent), cakes (53 per cent), doughnuts (45 per cent) and pastries (44 per cent). Despite the popularity of cookies from coast to coast, it appears not all generations see eye to eye with regard to their favourite sweet baked goods. Consumers aged 18-44 are more likely to eat doughnuts (49 per cent vs. 39 per cent of consumers 45+), bars (38 per cent vs. 29 per cent) and cupcakes (37 per cent vs. 21 per cent); meanwhile, those aged 45+ have a sweet tooth for pies (50 per cent vs. 39 per cent of 18-44s). Thirty-one per cent who say that sweet baked goods are a good snack. In the pursuit of living healthier lifestyles, sugar remains a concern for Canadians. When it comes to purchasing sweet baked goods, interest in products with reduced sugar (24 per cent) eclipses demand for products with GMO-free ingredients (11 per cent), as well as products that are gluten-free (six per cent) and nut-free (four per cent). What’s more, over two in five (45 per cent) consumers are interested in trying sweet baked goods with alternative sugar ingredients. Two in 5 Canadians say they are concerned about the amount of sugar in sweet baked goods. Despite these concerns, price (67 per cent) and flavour (60 per cent) rank as the most important factors to consider when purchasing sweet baked goods. What’s more, two thirds (66 per cent) of Canadians agree that it is okay to occasionally indulge, regardless of nutrition. *in the last three months leading to February 2017 Optimistic but weary In a recent Canadian study, 72 per cent of small business owners are unaware of supportive government initiatives and only a quarter find them helpful. Sage, a company that creates integrated accounting, payroll and payment systems, released new data st the Sage Summit Toronto 2017. The majority (85 per cent) are optimistic about the future of their business, and two-thirds (74 per cent) are generally optimistic about the future of small businesses in Canada. More than half (51 per cent) cite too many government regulations and/or taxes as the most common day-to-day challenge that their business faces, and one-third (32 per cent) indicate that there is a general lack of support from the government. Lack of awareness about government programs targeting small businesses might be the biggest hurdle. Nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) say they know very little or nothing about the federal or provincial government’s initiatives to aid small businesses. Only one-quarter of entrepreneurs surveyed find federal (26 per cent) or provincial (25 per cent) government initiatives to be helpful to their businesses. Additional key findings of the survey include: • 70 per cent agree Canadian small businesses are more likely than large businesses to serve their local community. • Three quarters say either small business in Canada (26 per cent) or both small and large businesses (50 per cent) are likely to contribute to Canada’s reputation. Respondents are equally likely to say that small businesses (41 per cent) or both small and large businesses (43 per cent) provide innovation for their consumers. Despite the challenges and risks Canadian small business owners face, they still believe in their chosen career path. Eighty-five per cent say if they had to do it over again, they would still opt to open a small business. Pastry master Jacquy Pfeiffer knighted by French government Jacquy Pfeiffer, co-founder of The French Pastry School of Kennedy-King College at City Colleges of Chicago, joins the ranks of Sean Connery, Bill Gates and Julia Child, as they have the honour of being named a knight. Being knighted by the French Government in the National Order of the Legion of Honor is the highest honour a civilian can achieve. Chicago’s deputy mayor Steve Koch, state comptroller Susana Mendoza, French consul Vincent Floreani, CEO of Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association Marc Gordon, Alain Weber formerly of Lycée Francais de Chicago and a room full of officials, hospitality industry movers and education and community leaders came together to celebrate Pfeiffer. Pfeiffer’s co-founder, Sebastien Canonne M.O.F., was also knighted by France in 2015. The duo founded Chicago’s The French Pastry School twenty-one years ago together with the City Colleges of Chicago. The French Pastry School has become an incubator for entrepreneurs and pastry professionals in Chicago. The school boasts a 91 per cent graduation rate, an average of seven jobs per full-time student, small class ration of 1:18 and over 800 partners for job shadow opportunities. “The French Pastry School is a tremendous asset for Chicago, an important culinary hub in the U.S. and supports an industry that requires high caliber talent. For their dedication and the pipeline of exceptional talent, we are ever grateful”, said Jennifer Chase, Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association, in a news release. Professional chefs come to Chicago from all over the world to increase their skills at The French Pastry School. Leaders like Barry Callebaut, KitchenAid, Nielsen-Massey Vanillas, Dairy Farmers of America, Irinox and Nespresso to name few, seek their guidance for research and development of new products. “Chef Jacquy and Sebastien have built a globally recognized brand that has undeniably become a valuable asset to our city. The French Pastry School is an institution that I hope will remain in Chicago and continue to flourish and feed our great city, both with pastries and with talented professionals,” said deputy mayor Koch.
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