Americans continue to crave Mexican food—so much so that they spend billions of dollars annually at quick-service restaurants like Taco Bell and Chipotle Mexican Grill and on Mexican foods at their local grocery store.
When asked to name a favorite childhood snack, most people would like probably name a favorite snack cake—Twinkies, Swiss Rolls, Devil Dogs, Snowballs or another, depending on where they lived. The taste of spongy cake and sweet, creamy filling in the middle still lingers on for some consumers. Nostalgia is a strong force.
Despite Americans’ growing interest in healthier diets and better-for-you foods made with real ingredients, people still enjoy treating themselves to dessert, be it a piece of frosted layer cake, a slice of silky crème pie or a sliver of decadent cheesecake.
Consumer demand for baked goods and snacks that are better-for-you, clean-label, gluten-free or in line with other food trends are prompting many bakers and snack manufacturers to re-examine existing products and develop new ones. Depending on the ingredients they add to or remove from formulations to achieve the results they desire, manufacturers can find themselves dealing with dough that’s thicker, stickier or otherwise different from the original recipe—and wondering whether their processing equipment will be able to handle it.
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.
Growing consumer demand for better-for-you, gluten-free and innovative baked goods and snacks continues to drive bakers and snack manufacturers to explore new ingredients and formulations. It’s also prompting them to re-examine their equipment needs, as they discover that their existing machinery may not be able to efficiently handle today’s in-demand products. For some manufacturers, a new extruder may be just the ticket.