Buns and rolls continue to emerge from ovens nationwide at a steady pace. While overall category growth has been minimal, several companies saw comparatively significant gains. And while traditional products maintain perennial allure, new interest comes from ingredients like whole grains and sweeteners.
The fresh bread category remains the most important segment in bakery today. It’s highly competitive, and the playing field continues to grow more crowded as more product dynamics like artisan and better-for-you come into consideration with increased frequency.
Multiple prevailing trends at the consumer and regulatory levels will factor into the business concerns of the bakery industry over the coming year. These include product-development dynamics like non-GMO, nutritional labeling, transparency and food safety—all of which have the potential to positively influence overall shopper perceptions related to bread and the other baked goods that play a part of dietary patterns.
The number of gluten-free products that have entered the market in recent years is quite large—almost mind-boggling. To some degree, this trend was fostered by FDA’s relatively new rule, Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods (August 2013), which allows manufacturers of foods inherently gluten-free to make such label claims. Thus, we now have gluten-free tomato sauce, a product that was probably always gluten-free.
There are no secret ingredients or master recipes in great bread baking. Successful artisan bread baking is largely focused on controlling fermentation. Controlled fermentation accounts for greater dough strength, longer product shelf life due to acidification and, more importantly for your customer, complex flavor.