What story does your food tell? Consumers today are looking for more than just personal substance from their bakery products. They want to know about the ingredients, process and company behind the food. When it comes to the bigger picture of bakery, pastry and chocolate products, there are a few things that customers value more than others.
Over the last few years, the bakery international group Puratos has been gathering data from 40 countries and 17,000 consumers. Looking over consumer behaviors, attitudes and choices, here are a few bakery consumer trends that stood out in North America markets.
All you have to do is look at artisan bread products to see how this trend plays out. Explaining the craft that goes into a product adds value to it. In Puratos’ survey of North American markets, 70% of consumers were willing to pay more for hand-crafted products. This rose up to 77% globally.
How do you convey the craft of your product? Things like baking on site, telling the story behind a bread, or attaching a specific baker to a product helps. A few key words associated with craft include:
- Authentic recipe
- Natural ingredients
- Local production
The story is bigger than the end product, however. How is it made and delivered? More and more, people see their food choices as part of their identity. So now, food, lifestyle and ethics are all linked. Consumers are paying more attention to things such as sustainability, plastic packaging, farmers, and animal welfare. So let them know what choices and changes your company and brand is making to play a part in food sustainability.
Of the consumers surveyed in North America, 88% said they read the packaging of their food. And over half were looking at the ingredients and nutritional value. Around 30% looked more closely for things such as preservatives used and artificial flavors or colors. Being transparent about what you leave out and what you put in goes a long way. And educating your consumer base about hot-topic ingredients and processes is crucial.
What does this look like in the baking industry?
A great example of these three bakery consumer trends is Cacao Trace, a sustainable cocoa sourcing program. Not only does it provide training and premium pricing for farmers, giving a portion of sales directly back, but it also creates a higher quality chocolate through a fermentation process.