The baking industry is coping with transition. On one hand, there are consumers who are paying much more attention to what they eat on a regular basis. On the other hand, everyone has a cheat day where they want to enjoy something sweet that may not be part of their regular diet.
In the United States, the baking industry contributed over $311 billion in total direct output, supporting 1.7 million total jobs.
In the last year, the baking industry contributed roughly 2.1% of the GDP for the US. This is why the trends for this industry are so important to follow. When consumers are satisfied, the industry grows and local economies are supported. These are the baking industry trends to pay attention to in 2016 and beyond.
Fighting the Urge to Overindulge
- 61% of US adults say that they pay attention to the nutrition labels on bakery items as a way to help manage their weight.
- 38% of adults in the US say that additional signage or labels placed throughout a grocery store, bakery, or other food retailer would help them identify healthier eating choices so they can better control their weight.
- 1 in 4 US consumers have purchase at least one wearable device, like a Fitbit, as a way to help take more control over their eating habits.
- The UK has the same levels of wearable device consumption, but 40% of UK adults are also interested in devices that track movement, blood pressure, and pulse rates.
- 13% of Chinese consumers say that they have a wearable digital product in their household as well.
- 1 in 5 bakery consumers say that miniature or bite-sized products would influence them to purchase more.
- 28% of US adults with a strong preference for cake or pie say that individual portion sizes would influence them to purchase more prepared bakery products.
- 50% of bakery buyers say that high fiber products are important to them.
- High protein foods are also a top preference, especially for US consumers. Yet the bakery industry only accounted for 6% of high protein product launches in 2013.
- In the 25-34 age demographic, 54% who purchase baking dessert mixes feel that they are making a healthier eating choice.
- 59% of households with children purchase baking mixes to prepare at home.
The primary baking industry trend that is evolving right now is to create products that help consumers be able to help themselves in some way. This might mean smaller portion sizes, changes in ingredients so natural products are used instead of artificial ones, or even the removal of food dyes. Alternatives to sugar, such as Stevia, might also be considered for some products. The goal is to find a compromise between overindulgence and choosing not to indulge at all. When baked goods can be healthy, then they can be more than just a simple treat on a cheat day.
How the Baking Industry is Evolving
- Apps such as Vessyl using a smart cup that can track what consumers are drinking. This even allows for calorie or caffeine tracking.
- Fooducate is an app that allows consumers to be able to check how healthy packaged foods might be right in aisle of their favorite grocery store.
- Creating incentives also encourages people to lose weight. In Dubai, officials gave people 1g of gold for every 1kg of weight they lost over a period of 30 days.
- 58% of consumers prefer to purchase food from delis or bakeries because they are deemed to be fresher.
- 38% of consumers believe the value they receive from their baked goods is better when they make the purchase from a specialty counter.
- 65% of consumers say that the flavor of their baked goods is more important to them than the overall nutritional content.
- 46% of consumers in the baking industry say they enjoy products as an indulgence.
- Just 39% of consumers say they regularly use a low- or no-calorie sugar substitute. 3 in 4 US consumers admit to using white granulated sugar.
- Pop Tarts sales exceeded $800 million in 2013, which put this pre-packaged baked good at the same levels of new items in the industry, including coconut water and gluten-free bread.
- Customization is also a top priority for consumers in the baking industry. This is why the éclair is seeing a surge in popularity because it can be filled with virtually any ingredient.
- Classic dessert favorites such as ice cream, pastries, cupcakes, and even fruit dishes are being enhanced with the addition of alcohol options like wine, liquors, and even beer.
People want tools. They want information. This is how the baking industry is evolving. With such a focus on personal health, yet a desire to have good tasting baked goods overwhelming that desire, evolving items to contain healthy levels of proteins, sugars, and fiber could help the industry see sales continue to surge. Right now, nearly half of consumers for the baking industry see their purchase as an indulgence. With the right tools, information access, and product innovations, it could become more of a daily purchase instead.
Real Products That Make a Real Difference
- Consumers are wanting real products. Sara Lee has embraced this by promoting they do not use HFCS in their bread.
- 82% of consumers, in fact, say that it is important for baked goods to contain ingredients that are natural to the recipe.
- Product recalls are helping to shape this perspective. In 2012, the baking industry had over 2,300 warnings that were sent out to US consumers.
- Nearly half of all UK consumers say they are taking care to purchase authentic products due to food scares.
- 84% of Chinese consumers say that they have a general concern about the food they purchase.
- Specific product claims outpaced “all natural” product claims by a 2.5 to 1 margin from 2009-2013.
- 38% of consumers today are interested in more sampling so they can see if a product could be right for them.
- Over 50% of all baking industry purchases involve bread products, whether in loaf or roll form. Soft cakes and pies account for just 10% of revenues.
- Hybrid products, such as piecaken or cookie brownies, are also seeing a rise in popularity because of recipe creativity and guaranteed authenticity from such a fusion.
A dose of reality could make all the difference in the world. Let’s take the example of the banana. It’s just a piece of fruit, right? Not today. If you were to look at the ingredient label for an unpeeled banana, you would find lots of good stuff, but you’d also find high levels of sugars, ash, and even ethene gas. Consumers must be educated in what an ingredient means for them. A banana might be 12% sugars, but those are healthier sugars than other options. Real products will continue to make a difference for the baking industry, which is why this trend will likely continue to evolve.
How Buying Local is Changing the Baking Industry
- 41% of consumers say that businesses having locally sourced baked goods will influence where they will spend their money.
- 62% of consumers say that they attempt to purchase local foods whenever they can.
- Half of consumers say that if a local or in-store bakery creates prepared baked goods, it influences their purchasing decision.
- 40% of baking industry customers say they look for gourmet or artisan baked goods when shopping.
- 45% of consumers would like to see multiple preparation options, recipes, or techniques included with the product instructions.
- Commercial bakeries account for about 90% of the total revenues that are generated within each community despite only making up one-third of total bakery locations.
- Sourcing local products helps the baking industry be able to avoid the volatility of oil national and global oil markets, which can see variations of 40% or more in product costs.
- Buying local is also important for the import/export market because every consumer wants an authentic product. US baking industry exports are worth over $1 billion annually, with 90% of those exports going to Canada or Mexico.
What we want is real food. To get this, we will go to great lengths so our needs are met. The baking industry is adapting to this need by offering products where consumers can actually see it being made before their eyes. This way they know real butter was used instead of margarine or that gluten-free techniques were employed so there isn’t cross-contamination going on. Traditional production methods will continue making a strong comeback because consumers want to know what is inside their baked goods. With the right training, an emphasis on innovation, and a desire to offer something authentic, these baking industry trends provide for a bright future indeed.