Top 5 Bakery Trends for 2018

Everyone seemingly has an opinion of what’s hot and what’s not in food as the new year unfolds. We at like to wait for the dust to settle a bit before making any predictions. With input from culinary trend watchers and our own conversations with bakers, here are’s top five bakery trends for 2018.

Trimmed Down Product Lines
Bakery operators will trim down their product lines, offering their best-selling products and seasonal favorites. Finding that balance between offering a variety of bakery products to appeal to more consumers and offering products that are truly profitable can be achieved by examining product lines and the true cost of production. Popular products two years ago may need a revamp or to be dropped all together. Big chains, like Dunkin’ Donuts, are scaling back. In 2018, bakeries of all sizes will cut the slack and focus on what they do best, changing products seasonally to keep it interesting.

Black is the new Black
Whether it’s the somber mood brought on by political unease or simply a backlash to the rainbow-unicorn everything last year, black and darker hues are making a comeback in food. We likely won’t see the black hamburger buns made with activated charcoal that are catching on in Japan. But, we do think your bakery customers will have a growing affinity to the darker side of things. Bring on the dark ryes, dark chocolate treats and black icings! And, why not offer both…rainbow bagels to lighten the mood and the black versions for the office Grinch.

Pink Chocolate Creativity
As for new and exciting colors, ruby chocolate will show up in more bakery products, pastries, and desserts. Promoted as the first new chocolate flavor in 80 years by its producer Barry Callebaut, the pink chocolate is reportedly not as sweet as milk chocolate and has a hint of berry flavor. It’s chocolate and it’s pink! What’s not to love? The creative bakery applications are endless.

Just Desserts and Drinks Too
“Bars” that specialize in pies or other desserts paired with alcoholic drinks, coffee, and/or tea beverages are hot. Pie Junkie in Oklahoma City, Florence Pie Bar in Florence, Mass., and Patisserie Chanson’s Dessert Bar are just a few establishments making a hit out of scratch-made sweet treats served in a cool, inviting setting. More consumers see dessert as an “any time occasion”, according to a recent report by Technomic, so look for entrepreneurial bakers and pastry chefs to provide people the hot hang outs for sweet treats.

Exotic and Classic Donuts
Funky donut shops with fun, exotic donut flavors have been a hit for a while now, and we see this trend continuing. Consumers still want to splurge. And when they do, fresh-fried donuts with interesting flavor combinations (s’mores, maple-bacon, blueberry-lemon cheesecake flavors, to name a few) are hard to beat. Crowds still want the classic glazed and old-fashions too, but they want fresh, high-quality versions worth waiting in line and cheating on diets for. Exotic donuts are hot on restaurant dessert menus too. “Doughnuts with nontraditional filling is the fastest-growing trend: More chefs voted for it this year compared to last year than any other trend,” writes Brett Thorn, Nation’s Restaurant News.

We’d like to hear from you. What do you think? Are we on point, or do you see other big bakery trends emerging in 2018? Let us know!

PHOTO: FunkyTown Donuts, Fort Worth, TX