Ingredion has launched a new bakery report, presenting six essential trends that will influence the consumer’s preferences for the next period.
In the age of the digitally savvy consumer, Charlotte Commarmond, senior director marketing, and innovation at Ingredion EMEA, suggests now is the time for manufacturers to keep pace with the biggest real trend – the growth of food and beverage trends themselves.
“The food and beverage industry has always been susceptible to the winds of change – and what the consumer wants, the consumer eventually gets. Whether that’s driven by dietary needs, health considerations or animal welfare concerns, manufacturers are under constant pressure to keep up with the pace. But how do you know which of these trends to push forward with and which are passing whims?” Commarmond says.
She also adds that, in the current climate, unpredictable consumer behavior towards switching trends is being exacerbated by their use of digital technologies – this is especially the case for millennials. This category of consumers has a desire to know more about what they’re consuming – whether that’s how food is farmed or manufactured, what a product contains and how other consumers rate it, the marketing expert explains.
Authenticity, Enrichment, Nutrition
“With or without you: Bakery trend report: Six ways to beat the market” is dedicated to bakers and it is structured in six chapters/parts, titled: Bakery with authenticity, Bakery with enrichment, Bakery with nutrition, Bakery without wastefulness, Bakery without saltiness and Bakery without undesirables.
The first chapter is dedicated to artisanal bread. “Artisan baking is predominantly a developed market trend. It is a niche segment in emerging markets where bread remains a luxury for many consumers and where affordability is a key factor and there is a preference for low-cost flours, such as South Africa’s staple mealie-meal,” according to the report.
High-protein is also a topic to cover for Ingredion. “The passion for protein is predominantly a trend in more developed countries, but it’s only a matter of time before this extends to emerging markets. Vegetable proteins are already replacing animal proteins in the dairy segment and have the advantage of being compliant with halal and kosher dietary requirements, so the precedent is there as consumer spending power increases,” according to Ingredion.
In the thirds chapter, Ingredion explains that fortification with vitamins and minerals can be a positive way to improve the nutritional profile of products. “In emerging markets, affordability is a key factor and alongside this taste, texture and satiety are important too. Bakery products need to have the stability and functionality to withstand tough climatic conditions and still deliver a high quality, enjoyable eating experience,” the report says.
Reducing Waste, Salt, and Gluten
Next, Ingredion approaches the topic of reducing waste, highlighting that manufacturers need to invest in reformulation to naturally increase shelf life and reduce the risk of spoilage with can compromise food safety. “While ethical concerns are shared by many manufacturers, an added benefit is to enable a business itself to cut waste and reduce cost and potentially increase output. The key focus for manufacturers targeting both European and emerging markets is commercial efficiency — increasing the productivity of facilities and introducing multiple lines to ensure maximum uptime while making full use of ingredients to protect margins,” according to the report.
The fifth chapter refers to reducing salt in baked goods after the category of goods has been highlighted as a large source of salt in the European diet and individual countries. “Manufacturers can experiment with different flavors and adjusting the size of salt crystals to enhance the perception of saltiness, but they can also replace the sodium. In late 2017, the UK approved potassium as a salt replacer,” Ingredion’s documents say.
The sixth important trend is not new, but it remains important as, according to a Mintel report, one in 10 people avoid gluten and 15% of UK households avoid gluten and wheat; more than half because they believe it’s part of a healthy diet. The gluten-free trend is expected to continue beyond 2018, as more and more opt for the supposed health benefits rather than as an essential dietary requirement, according to Ingredion.
“The landscape of consumer fads and changing tastes is very complex. Whether it’s fortifying products ‘with’ supplements and nutrients to improve health and wellness, or the rising demand for baked goods ‘without’ particular allergens or additives, the make-up of food is continually changing to adapt to current diets and lifestyles. This makes defining a long-term strategy and investment plan for new product development and recipe reformulation appear very challenging. It would be easy for manufacturers to respond to a climate of ever-changing trends by doing nothing. New product development cycles can be long and some may consider it too risky to invest into certain lines without proof that the trend is here for the long term,” the senior director marketing and innovation at Ingredion EMEA adds.