The Many Faces of In-store Ovens

It is essential for an oven to provide a multitude of functions, which are designed to help bakers fine-tune the temperature distribution, fan speed, steam, and other variables, in order to obtain the perfect baking conditions for as many different products as possible.

The evolution of in-store oven demand is more and more focused on easy programmable, energy-saving and compact products. Due to limited time and laboratory space, artisans look more and more for a product that can simplify their life and offer an all-in-one solution.

Flexibility

Michele Comito, sales representative, Forni Fiorini says their FLEX rack oven, was designed with flexibility in mind, as it can fully satisfy the various demands of a small bakery or pastry shop.

“Thanks to recent advances in technology, with the EASY COOKING and EASY TOUCH control panels, the clients can program their recipes into the oven and easily recall them when needed. There’s also the possibility to have a perfectly integrated proofer supporting the baking chamber, allowing the client to minimize the space required for this necessary tool. In between the baking chamber and the proofer, the clients can include an electric static chamber (STD or PLUS, with or without steam generator) to bake a different product. As an example, an artisan baker could bake French baguettes on the rotating rack and croissants or pizza by the slice in the electric chamber,” Comito explains.

UNOX active marketing chief, Alina​ Raduta, says that the drive that helped UNOX a lot in its early years has been inspired by the quality of artisan bakery products. Product development and the market demand in recent years has come almost exclusively from bakers and confectioners who required increasingly high-performance equipment, both in terms of baking and in terms of ease of use and cleaning, according to Raduta.

A Change of Perception

The significant increase in the quality of deep-frozen baked products, which has essentially blurred any taste distinction between freshly-baked dough and frozen product, prompted bakers to bring their ovens to the front, where customers could see the products being baked.

This move helped not only to convince consumers of the freshness of the products on sale, but the pleasant scent of freshly-baked goods provided unsurpassed sales support, being a catalyst for impulse purchases.

“The need to have an oven inside the store or to bake in front of the customer was probably one of the trends that led to the development of UNOX, 30 years ago,” says Raduta. “In 1990, there was a surge of bars, cafes, coffee chains and bakery shops that slowly abandoned the idea of selling purchased fresh products, and switched to frozen products ready to be baked. This change was certainly brought about by the ever-increasing quality of the frozen products, which overpowered the established market perception that these were low-value items.”

Design Matters

ROI is certainly the most important criteria every businessman takes into consideration, but there are many other reasons behind the clients’ decision on what oven to buy: desired capacity, type of product, space available, ease of use, value for money, etc. Besides, one should not underestimate the importance of design, Comito underlines.

“Thanks to its eye-catching design, the Forni Fiorini VINTAGE series is ideal for take- away pizza places, show-cooking businesses, bread/pastry shops and restaurants with front-side-of-the-shop working areas, where the public can see it working,” he continues. But design isn’t only about what the ovens look like. Ease of access for cleaning and maintenance, or a well-thought-out software that can simplify user interaction and energy management are also influenced by design.

You can read the rest of this article in the July-August Issue of European Baker & Biscuit magazine, which you can access by clicking here.

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