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.
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.
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.
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.
Baked goods have been a part of peoples’ diet for thousands of years, far longer than golfers have been hitting a little ball across a grassy surface with a long stick. As ingredients, production methods, distribution and a host of other factors have evolved, consumers at all income levels have been able to enjoy staples like breads and rolls, as well as sweet treats like cookies and pies.
Fore! Tortilla manufacturers are driving down the fairway with their unique varieties of wraps in hopes that the next time you’re craving a sandwich, you’ll toss aside the bread and use a tortilla instead
Cookies are a robust segment within the bakery industry. There are brands that have been around for decades and have become household names, but there are also many up-and-coming brands that offer unique flavors for niche markets and are set to become the next class of pros.
It can be rather tough for sweet goods products these days. The huge movement to better-for-you items hasn’t exactly been good news and a smooth fairway for this category. But bakers and manufacturers of sweet goods, snack cakes and other delectable treats are watching the demands just as closely as producers in other bakery market segments, and heeding the calls.
I am 100% sure that you have received a load of “must-have” nutritional advice. The overload of life lessons like this can be quite overwhelming, not to mention scary. I used to go to bed at night questioning my nutrition skills, thinking about how in the world I missed the research proving all of those theories. Well, a quick search or even a phone call to mom (or grams), proved false.
June marks the final month of the Grain Foods Foundation’s (GFF) spring campaign, RISE, through which we are highlighting the important connection between grains and energy. As I discussed in my April column introducing RISE, we have enlisted the support of former Olympian, soccer star and mom Mia Hamm as our spokesperson. It’s been an extremely successful campaign, and I’d like to use this column to share an update of our activities to-date.
Allergens were the number-one reason for food recalls in North America in 2011, and bakery products were one of the most frequent foods recalled. This was the first time that allergen recalls outpaced the number of food recalls due to microbiological contamination.
Every day, we open our newspapers, trade publications, health journals and other forms of electronic communications. And every day, there is at least one story that lays the blame for America’s obesity and Type 2 diabetes epidemic on the demon: Sugar. But not all sugars are being blamed; it’s the added sugar that gets placed into foods unbeknownst to the average consumer who is not reading their food labels.
Summer is here—finally! It’s time to hit a few golf balls and kick back. It’s also time to peruse our annual State of the Industry issues (June and July). This month, we’re covering the bakery market, which includes the bread aisle, sweet goods, cookies, bars, snack cakes, frozen baked goods, tortillas, pies and more.