“Since bakery products are key elements of the international food market, the bakery industry is experiencing a phase of quick change and the healthy eating trends and the consumer preferences for high quality products must be considered. The most important attribute for Y-generation when shopping in retail, is “freshness”. The term relates not only to when the food was prepared, but also to aspects such as local production, traceability and minimal processing.”
Bakeries must examine new trends from financial, operational and sales perspectives and then decide how to implement them. The first task is identifying whether the trend is something the manufacturer can respond to with specialty products that complement what they already do.
And that comes down to finding ways to satisfy that growing demand without busting the budget. Start by capitalizing on relationships with suppliers, tweaking the manufacturing process where possible, offering a more artisanal product that doesn’t require a hefty investment in new equipment—and promoting the new products to customers (and their customers), according to an article published in Dawn Foods website. “If you can be among the first to recognize that something can provide a strong return, it gives your retail partners that much more confidence that you’re on top of things,” says Jeff Grogg, founder and managing director of food and beverage consultancy JPG Resources.
Ingredient suppliers can be a valuable source of information for bakeries that lack a dedicated research and development department. “Major ingredient suppliers have the resources to generate what the major market trends are. Bakers are also listening to market demand and developing their own products; there’s a lot of collaboration.” Says Randy Ross, owner and founder of Ross Food, a bakery sales and marketing consultancy in Montgomery.
Some trends—such as interest in health-minded foods, including ingredient-restricted items geared toward people who follow a paleo, grain-free or other special diet—may prove difficult for bakeries with older facilities, according to Grogg, that makes grain-free, high-protein and other baked goods for a variety of businesses. “We had the luxury of building from the ground up, so, by design, we’re able to do a line of gluten-free cookies one day, and granola the next,” Grogg says. “Managing allergens is a big hurdle to overcome. A lot of bakeries don’t want nuts in their plant or don’t want to worry about wheat use all the time. If you cross that hurdle, you’re faced with another significant one—you have to have different ingredient technologies and equipment.”
While some larger bakeries may have the resources to configure space for specialty item production, smaller ones are less likely to, according to Ross. “Introducing a new product into a bakery is a big deal,” he says. “Plant machinery, in some cases, has a 20- to 25-year lifetime; it’s not like bakers are changing out equipment every year.
Manufacturers can still capitalize on consumer trends without overhauling their facilities. Rather than developing new products from the ground up, bakeries can leverage existing offerings. To address the health trend, for example, some manufacturers are “using sprouted grains, multigrain, whole wheat, soaked grains—products that relate to adding ingredients into the process—or using ingredients to differentiate their product, such as pumpkin, spices, fruits and seeds,” Ross explains.
Another trend proving fruitful for bakeries is consumers’ increased interest in (and willingness to pay a premium for) artisanal items. “Moving to a bit more upscale product is often a great way to go,” Grogg says.
Stressing locally sourced ingredients can also pique retail customers’ interest, according to Noah Munro, founder of food business consulting firm Taste Profit Consulting and co-owner of The Mill Fudge Factory, which sells fudge to retailers in the Northeast.
“It’s difficult to have 100 percent local baked goods because it’s hard to get local sugar and cocoa. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the local trend,” Munro says, “We use local honey in all our fudge; when marketing our brand, that’s part of the story.”
NEW TRENDS IN BAKERY
Since bakery products are seeing a key element of the international food market, the bakery industry is experiencing a phase of quick change and the healthy eating trends and the consumer preferences for high quality products must be considered. Bakers will take healthy eating to the next level, according to a food industry expert who has predicted five trends that may shape the market next year, British Baker reports. Product development will become more focused on health, particularly gut health, Jane Milton told the magazine who is ‘chief inspiration officer’ at the Food & Drink Innovation Network, and has 30 years’ experience in the baking industry.
She highlighed five core trends for the bakery sector in 2018.
Fermented foods such as sourdough and gut health have been “bubbling along” for the past few years. “Sourdough is generally perceived to be better for your gut because the mother dough has a wild yeast rather than an actual yeast.
The process of making sourdough bread means the wild yeast neutralises phytic acids in the bread, which makes it easier for you to digest.” She added: “It also means that you get more minerals in these breads because normally phytic acids would stop your body absorbing them. This means that there are many reasons why certain breads are good for you.
Inulin is a fibrous carbohydrate, increasingly being used as a sugar and flour replacement, which can be added to baked products such as cakes.. “The great thing about inulin is not only is it a natural sweetener, it has a lot of other benefits in terms of sustaining a good gut, Milton explained. “I personally would use it in products more than stevia because it doesn’t just reduce the level of sugar that you would put in something. Bakers can also use it to bake granola-type bars, cookies, muffins and doughnuts, as well as in bread. I think for the baking industry it’s a great thing.”
Vegan and gluten-free products are becoming more mainstream every month, and next year will resemble meat in texture and appearance to appeal to a growing market. “On the bakery side, I think you will see more vegan products. Bakers will be conscious about not putting animalbased products into baked goods.
The food-to-go trend will continue to grow, and more innovations will be made in products such as pies and pasties “Food-to-go is very strong in the bakery industry. I think there will be more innovation in pies and pasties in the future. Many companies are also producing premium sausage roll products that would very much appeal to adults.”
Bakers will be using more “clever” ways to reduce waste. “Bakers need to think how they can re-purpose their products instead of throwing it away. I’ve seen bakers selling croutons for soup or as a snacking product from surplus bread.
There are initiatives such as the Real Bread Campaign on how to look after bread. The campaign’s messages and recipes should be placed on packaging on how to make things such as croutons. We need some education and to be more resourceful with what we can do with our waste products.”