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Active ingredients drive consumption

Research by FMCG Gurus shows a growing preference for taste, without forgetting health priorities, when deciphering between products.

By Kate Kehoe, Marketing Executive, FMCG Gurus

The study shows that, when consumers choose between pre-packaged bakery products, 68% of respondents are most drawn to both flavor and price. This highlights that the majority of consumers are purchasing bakery products for indulgence and escapism, which gives priority to products that offer genuine sensory appeal. New and experimental flavors are preferred, as well as those associated with comfort, familiarity, and simplicity.

However, the research also shows that consumers are becoming more quality-orientated and health-conscious. Ultimately, they do not want to feel a sense of guilt.

Consumer nutrition

Outlining the active ingredients in products has been proven as an effective way of promoting the consumption of bakery products, FMCG Gurus highlights in the study. Bakery brands can handle this rising demand by presenting products as guilt-free and conveniently nutritious, for example. One way to do so is by displaying active ingredients such as high fiber and high protein content. Our market research experts have collected data that reflects this demand for more healthy bakery products. For example, 53% of consumers who purchase products that contain ancient grains do so due to them being considered a healthier option, while 52% of consumers purchase these products as a result of them being high in fiber. Therefore, if brands promote their products’ nutritious ingredients, it will cater to a large portion of consumers who are incorporating positive nutrition in their diet, with the aim of increasing their intake of functional ingredients.

Green supply chains

The study also outlines the importance of brands being transparent regarding their supply chains and highlighting the green strategies in place to minimize their carbon footprint throughout the production process. Our market research indicates that 51% of respondents purchase products that contain ancient grains because it is considered better for the environment. To cater to this, brands should be exhibiting sustainable strategies across their supply chains. Our research has demonstrated that the environmentally harmful processes of food waste and carbon emission are key topics of concern for consumers. However, this is something that brands can work on, by indicating their resourceful processes throughout the supply chain.

Low-sugar products

FMCG Gurus’ market research found that, out of the consumers who regularly check for nutritional labels and the ingredients of products, 74% are most likely to check for sugar and 65% check for additives. Reducing sugar from an already existing product should be approached with caution, the market research company says, to avoid turning customers away as a result of its associations with compromised taste and a decreased sensory appeal.

The research illustrates that the majority of consumers value indulgence over health, with 71% valuing the indulgence of pretzels over health, and 73% favoring the indulgence of muffins and cupcakes over health.

As the contradiction of health and indulgence becomes apparent, companies could consider releasing new and healthier versions of existing products in order to cater to all.


Whilst consumers favor indulgence when purchasing pre-packaged bakery products, the importance of nutritional value cannot be disregarded, with a growing portion of consumers becoming more health-conscious. In contrast, there is still a high demand for indulgence. In this sense, sensory appeal is very important. Our research has demonstrated that consumers value the comfort found in familiar flavors, such as the flavor of chocolate, which is the respondents most popular flavor, standing at 74%. In addition, consumers are also adventurous and drawn to new flavors.

Lastly, price, perceptions of value and affordability are important for brands to consider, as a result of the issue of food inflation and everyday living costs.

This article is based on FMCG Gurus: Bakery Survey Series in 2022.

Photo credit: FMCG Gurus