Cheating Dieters Among Top Bakery Trends This Year

As 2017 begins, consumers make resolutions to get healthy and dig in their heels on their diets. However, they still want to indulge, and they’re willing to cheat on bakery products if it’s worth it. They want quality ingredients and bakery products they can’t make or don’t have time to make home. Bakery and pastry businesses can satisfy their customer’s need to cheat with creative, high quality products their customers can’t resist. Here are a few other trends sees emerging in 2017.

1. Bakeries Go Viral

We can’t predict which outstanding or outlandish bakery product will be the next social media sensation,
but we do know there will be more bakery products going viral in 2017. Rainbow bagels and cronuts have had their day. What will be next? Bakery business will also continue to turn to social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter, to build their brands and interact with customers. More visual sites, like Instagram and Pinterest, will see the most growth in participation from bakeries this year.

2. More Breakfast

The breakfast daypart continues to grow as consumers seek convenient, quick and nutritious foods on the go. Breakfast isn’t just for mornings either. McDonald’s, for example, now offers all-day breakfast with its egg, muffin and biscuit sandwiches available throughout the day. Bakeries should own this category. Pastries, donuts, muffins and bagels are among the classic breakfast staples. But, bakeries should look to adding proteins that complement their baked goods, like eggs, to their product lines for a broader appeal. Retail bakeries, in particular, should also consider streamlining the ordering process in the mornings for busy commuters. Think convenience and eating-on-the-go when you’re developing new breakfast products and sourcing packaging as well.

3. Clean Ingredients

Bakery café chain Panera Bread recently announced that it has gone completely “clean” with its menu by eliminating the use of artificial flavors, sweeteners, colors and preservatives. A pretty massive feat for the chain of more than 2,000 bakery cafes, this clean label push is coming from consumers wanting to know what ingredients are in their foods, the purpose of the ingredients and if a more natural alternative could serve the same function. Many retail and specialty wholesale bakeries have long offered fresh bakery products without the additives high volume bakeries use to improve shelf life. Bakers of fresh bakery products should promote their quality ingredients and production processes to take advantage of this trend.

4. Go Small, Sell Multiple

Food manufacturers in the bakery segment and other categories are downsizing portion sizes or offering mini versions of their core product lines. Oreo Minis and Entenmann’s Little Bites are among the many bakery brands expanding their lines of smaller portions and snack packs. Smaller portions may be an appeal to the health conscious for some, but mini bakery products also can be an invitation to indulge for specialty bakeries. Single serving and mini versions of high-end bakery products let customers treat themselves without the guilt and purchase more variety.

5. Sugar Blacklisted

From trans fats to wheat, many ingredients commonly found in bakery products have come under scrutiny. Now, the biggest backlash is against sugar. In fact, sugar content has become more important than calories to consumers shopping for healthful foods in the United Kingdom, according to Mintel research. That statistic likely holds true in the U.S. and other countries. Obviously, sugar is a necessary and important ingredient in many bakery products, so its use cannot and should not be eliminated. But, bakery operators need to be aware of their customers’ concerns over sugar, and offer reduced-sugar, no-sugar-added and sugar-free products where appropriate.

(Rainbow bagel photo: POPSUGAR Photography / Nicole Perry)