What are consumers looking for as they walk into bakeries and stroll down the grocery aisle? The significant trends for the bakery, pastry and chocolate sectors have been rising to the top for 2019. 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 trends that stood out in North America markets.
Taste is the number one factor for North American bread, pastry and chocolate consumers. Although a number of other components are key—such as texture, health, freshness and appearance—taste is something to keep in the forefront of your priorities. In their independent study, Puratos found 78% of North American consumers are looking for traditional tastes. However, 56% want to try unusual tastes. So balance providing perceived tastes, while giving new experiences.
Product texture is factor growing in importance. In fact, 62% want to try new textures. So experiment with new combinations, like crunch and spring. Appearance is also a purchase-factor, with consumers looking for unique, aesthetically pleasing, instagramable product. Both of these factors should be considered when crafting the taste of a product.
Healthy food is no longer just about taking things out but putting things in. So customers are not only looking for low sugar or fat in products, but also for functional and natural ingredients. However, just throwing healthy ingredients into formulas isn’t enough. The key is finding the sweet spot of perceived health and taste. Grains, seeds, fruit, nuts, natural sweeteners and cocoa are a few examples.
Something else to keep in mind when marketing something on its health is to keep the portion size small! Consumers are more willing to purchase something indulgent if it’s a smaller portion size.
The interest in fresh food is has been a growing trend for quite some time. So much so that many consumers link freshness with quality. How do you define freshness, or more importantly how do consumers define it? They are looking at things such as:
- When was the product baked?
- What’s the expiration date?
- What does it taste, smell and feel like?
As you can see, the senses are highly linked to determining freshness. So find ways to create an experience that gets these elements across to demonstrate freshness.
What does this look like in the baking industry?
A great example of how these three points can be translated into baked goods are signature breads. Sourdough mixes allow for unique, bold flavors that are easy to mass produce, while still providing a simple, wholesome ingredient list and an artisan-style bread that’s fresh.