Healthy living practices and making sustainable choices have become a norm for consumers around the world. Of course, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic that gave rise to the much-needed trends. The consumers’ increasing emphasis on healthy and sustainable food choices is making this an exciting time for the bakery category. The bakery industry had to bear the brunt of COVID. Issues ranged from product disruption to loss of food service orders. But still, baking products remain a consumer favourite, largely because of their comfort and convenience. Looking ahead, the global bakery market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 2.6% from 2021 to 2026, with some significant trends already emerging.
Plant-based food items will take the centre stage
As people are turning vegan to become healthy and responsible towards their environment and animal welfare, there will be a gradual increase in the plant-based food items in all the bakery offerings. Even various studies have suggested that by 2030, the growing demand for sustainable products would also result in the expansion of the plant-based food item category. Brands across the globe have already started incorporating plant-based food items in their offerings to be in the trend.
Visual appeal will be the key
When it comes to bakery products, the visual appeal has always been the key. With the pandemic, people want to shell out more on the items that are vibrant and appealing to the eyes. As food blogging on Instagram has become a rage, stand out by creating something innovative. It has been seen that cakes and pastries with more layers of colours in them are preferred more by the consumers.
Creating more meaningful experience
Food is no longer just a need to fill our stomachs. Rather, people are seeing the food as an opportunity to experience vivid taste, and texture and make them healthy. This is the reason, the bakery industry is introducing superfoods in their products. These superfoods not only enhance the taste but also provide a healthy experience. For example-chia seeds are often added to bread to add crunchiness and health to them. Studies claim that consumers have no qualms to pay more for a packet of bread if it adds good health.
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Usage of more local ingredients
In order to give a monetary push to farmers, bakeries are incorporating more and more local ingredients in their recipes, and that’s a trend resonating with consumers as well. Using more local products means reducing the carbon footprint. That will eventually leave a feel-good and responsible image in the minds of the consumers. Moreover, the usage of more local ingredients helps the brand to connect with the consumers more as it can also aid a local and innovative touch to the offerings.
Gluten-free products continue to rule
Gluten-free becoming increasingly associated with consumers, and more brands are using wheat alternative flours that have good functionality and consumer appeal. Oats are becoming a popular choice—especially for their healthy beta-glucan fibre, protein, vitamin, and mineral content, as well as their affordability. They are also high on sustainability due to the low water usage and eco-friendly crop rotation systems associated with oat production.
Cutting down on sugar
The global rise in diabetes cases has led to this trend. Many manufacturers are replacing a portion of sugar with maltooligosaccharides for low-sugar, high-fibre cookies. This is by adding alphacyclodextrin to reduce the glycemic index of bread. In India, many bread eaters are looking for low sugar claims on bread. Bakers are also slowly catching up to this trend of low sugar or no sugar claims in their offerings.