In 1991 Innovative Cooking Enterprises, an Alaskan company, was founded. At that time there were fewer than one million bread machines in America. Today there are over 20 million bread machines in the United States alone.
|Electric Bread for Kids
For the past ten years, ICE Inc. has been in the middle of this bread machine revolution, working on a daily basis with consumers and the manufacturers of machines, flour and yeast. We have become known as the bread machine "industry expert;" our test kitchen has baked more than 35,000 test loaves using over 300 bread machines. To date, our original book, Electric Bread, has sold more than one million copies in over 30 countries!
In 1998, at the encouragement of major retailers, Innovative Cooking began the development of a children’s bread machine book, Electric Bread for Kids. We expected a "sequel" to Electric Bread, but we ended up with much, much, more.
Every Saturday for six months, a group of educators and our test kitchen staff brought together 30 children and 55 bread machines in our test kitchen! It was an amazing experience. The bread machines safely delivered both convenience and quality bread. In exchange, the kids exhibited accuracy and respect for the appliance, while exploring with incredible creativity.
The children in Electric Bread for Kids are the Alaskan kids who helped us in the focus groups. These children made the bread, had their hands photographed for the step-by-step techniques, and conducted the official taste testing! Each brought their own background and creativity to the project.
We learned that children view the bread machine dramatically differently than adults. Unlike adult bread bakers, children are not particularly concerned about what the loaf of bread looks like. Children are far more interested in how the bread tastes and in what ingredients were used; they are very nutrition conscious.
Although adults view the bread machine as an appliance, kids relate to it as a computer that makes bread! Children are touch-pad knowledgeable, they read and follow instructions, and they expect technology to leverage their cooking experience. Children have grown up using microwaves, computers, and VCRs. It is perfectly logical to them to use smart technology in the preparation of food. Why would they hand knead the bread dough with inconsistent success when a bread machine could do it correctly every time?
In the making of the book, ICE inadvertently learned Electric Bread for Kids is a powerful tool for learning enhancement. That knowledge has catapulted our company into the education arena. The book was endorsed by the National PTA, and Innovative Cooking Enterprises established in-school pilot programs from Early Childhood, to K-12, to Special Ed, and at the university level preparing teachers. In every instance, the pilot instructors reported that whenever Electric Bread for Kids and bread machines were involved in curriculum delivery, student performance was higher and retention was longer! Schools are setting up bread carts containing the machines, books, and equipment to roll from classroom to classroom to allow students the opportunity for hands-on interactive learning using this smart technology.
This is just the beginning. I believe that the development of Electric Bread for Kids was the first peek into the future of how families will prepare wholesome healthy food. We were fortunate to be able start our company at just the right time, with just the right idea, in just the right place.
Alaskan children have helped make it possible for other children across America to become the bakers in their homes. They are teaching their parents and teachers the value and ease of fresh baked bread. In recognition of their effort, our Board of Directors also contributes a portion of every book sale to children’s charities.