Consumers increasingly favor better-for-you products and their additional spare time at home has changed the way they handle eating occasions. These changes are reflected in developments in the bakery industry post COVID-19. There are two important trends for the bakery industry that have intensified over the last 12 months. Firstly, consumers are becoming more conscious about their health, especially as they recognize dietary plans are not as healthy as they should be. Secondly, consumers have had more free time so they have adjusted their cooking habits spending more time in the kitchen. This has resulted in consumers looking to cook from scratch more and focus on nutrition, something that has led to people baking more/learning to bake. A back-to-basics approach to wholesomeness and nutrition is observed, as consumers turn to everyday food and drink that they know and trust, deem natural and nutritious and crucially, tasty and affordable. This is because people are reevaluating their dietary habits and are looking to maximize their intake of ingredients associated with boosting health. In the case of bakery products, consumers are recognizing that options such as bread are beneficial as a source of fiber.
An opportunity for the bakery industry is to promote active health claims and ingredients on products, especially as consumers want products that are not just based around avoidance and moderation, but actively boosting health. Claims around ingredients such as fiber will be of high appeal, especially as consumers recognize the link between digestive health and immunity and linked to this, the benefits of fiber. Ingredients and related ingredient claims are under scrutiny more than ever before. This also spells opportunity, as a variety of ingredients are associated with their role in boosting health. Consumers are currently paying a high level of attention to ingredients such as vitamin C, omega 3, protein, probiotics and fiber. This creates the opportunity to promote functional and fortified ingredients in bakery products.
Functional ingredients with added benefits
Consumers want to know more about the science behind health claims than ever before. This is because they are becoming more skeptical about health and wellness claims in general and questioning the reality behind such claims made by brands. As such, transparency and authenticity are everything and brands should look to validate claims on the packaging – such as providing scientific evidence and information on packaging to validate them.
By Mike Hughes – Head of Research & Insight, FMCG Gurus