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.
When it comes to food trends, consumer interest in better-for-you products continues to grow. The desire to improve their overall health and well-being is prompting many Americans to be more selective when it comes to the foods they buy and eat, including baked goods and snacks. Instead of automatically placing a familiar product into their shopping cart, consumers are now scrutinizing its label for unpronounceable ingredients, artificial flavors and colors, GMOs and high levels of sweeteners and sodium.
In the world of snacks today, good ideas are sprouting up all over. Snacking is the new normal, and in order to remain competitive and relevant in a culture that increasingly leans toward better-for-you options, manufacturers are exploring formulation tactics that build more positive nutritional messaging into their products. Clean label is also top-of-mind, and if a snack can swing a gluten-free claim, its appeal instantly broadens.
With the consistent growth of the snack bar category over the past few years, the Almond Board of California wanted to better understand consumer usage, consumption and perceptions of various types of bars.