Pretzels have been around for more than a thousand years, originating in southern Europe around 610 A.D., according to historians. Today, crispy,
hard pretzels are consumed by people in many of the countries represented at the 2012 Olympics.
Crackers and crisps are benefitting from new production techniques, better-for-you ingredients, cleaner labels and innovative flavors as manufacturers deal with consumers having less discretionary income.
Crunch and flavor have always been gold and silver medalists in the cracker and crisp game, but because consumers are looking for more healthful snacks, there have been interesting developments with these products.
Harris Interactive recently released the results of its 2012 Harris Poll EquiTrend study, which analyzed the responses of more than 38,500 consumers on key measures of brand health for more than 1,500 lifestyle, product and service brands. When questioned about the brands they are likely to reach for when craving a salty snack, respondents chose Lay’s Potato Chips—the top-ranked salty snack for the past eight years—followed by two other Frito-Lay North America brands, Doritos and Tostitos.
Snacks are hanging tough despite the foot-dragging economy, as nearly one-quarter of consumers struggle to make ends meet. But snackers are snacking more frequently, and the products they’re eating play a more important role in wellness- and indulgent-related eating occasions.
While times have been rough for some bakery categories, frozen pizza manufacturers continue to find their sweet spot by introducing products with creative flavors, premium toppings and affordable prices.
Nearly four years after the economic downturn, many Americans are still keeping a tight rein on their expenditures, monitoring how much they spend on essentials, including groceries, and nonessentials, such as eating out. Not surprisingly, many food manufacturers and restaurants have been impacted by this new-found consumer frugality, prompting the former to trim unprofitable items from their product lines and the latter to add more specials to their menus.
Consider this: Some 59% of Americans report making changes to their diet to improve their health, and 69% are trying to lose or maintain their weight, according to a 2011 International Food Informational Council Foundation study. Nine out of 10 Americans, or about 88%, believe that fortified foods and foods with added benefits have at least some impact on overall health.
The bakery market isn’t just putting around. Bakers are listening to consumers and customers, and are developing healthy products, bolstering nutrition, lowering fat, sugar and sodium, and adding more functional ingredients.
While bakery volumes have been experiencing some heavy divots industry-wide, most bakers in the United States are benefiting from their products in key categories, as well as from their innovations and the strength of their brands.
Though the bread market is a bit on the downswing, bakers are still on course with a bevy of new products, healthful ingredients, quality touches, artisan processes and more.
June 18, 2012
It’s golf season, and that means it’s State of the Industry time. Have things changed much since last year? The sluggish economy is still bearish and has had an effect on bakers, though they continue to iron out new products and spin old favorites.