The pandemic has triggered a re-evaluation of food choices among consumers, but it has also highlighted the relevance that bakery continues to play in consumers’ lives, according to Western Foods’ first-ever Bakeology Report.
The North American bakery company’s research found people still get a strong sense of gratification when eating their favourite baked treat. Breaking bread and indulging in sweet baked goods continues to provide key moments of enjoyment and connection for consumers, however, more are aware of the importance of balancing comfort and health.
While the research is based on American and Canadian trends, this balance between happiness and health is a global shift.
According to Weston Foods, Americans are increasingly seeking out products that are made with better ingredients while also being better for the planet. The claims that impact purchasing decisions include ‘all natural’ (33%), ‘high in fibre and protein’ (30%), ‘non-GMO’ (26%), ‘made sustainably’ (25%), and 'artisan-style' (24%).
“By understanding consumers’ rapidly evolving needs, we can shape our strategies and innovation agenda to create delicious baked goods and satisfy what North Americans want,” said Irene Stathakos, VP of insights, digital & design, Western Foods.
“Today, baked goods are in demand, consumer expectations are high, and the market is saturated. Eye appeal, freshness, flavour and textures are more important than ever before.”
- 35% of respondents are eating healthier foods, 33% are snacking more between meals, and 29% are eating more desserts.
- 33% say they’re more likely to buy ‘all natural’ baked goods while 24% say the same about ‘artisan-style’ bakery.
- 33% are eating more indulgent meals and treats with 67% saying they enjoy eating baked goods reminiscent of their childhood.