Keeping up with consumer demands isn’t easy, especially these days, when it seems like the only thing constant is change. But, the global bakery product market is expected to exhibit substantial growth over the next several years, which will provide plenty of opportunities for processors whose products align with what consumers want.
Here are the most important factors that consistently determine what people buy from the bakery aisle.
This should go without saying, but the top thing consumers want when buying bakery items is something that tastes good. A recent global survey by Puratos found that for bakery and patisserie products, freshness is a key determinant of taste.
In terms of the types of flavors consumers want, there’s a wide range. In the Puratos survey, 67% said they like traditional flavors, while almost as many (66%) said they’re interested in unusual and exotic tastes.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “We eat first with our eyes.” This is more than just a saying. Researchers at the University of Oxford have studied the impact a food’s appearance has on eating behavior. They’ve found, among other things, that people are willing to pay more than double for foods that are aesthetically pleasing compared to less attractive foods, even though they contain the exact same ingredients.
We’ll dig into this concept more in the next article, but for now suffice it to say that what your products look like plays a significant role in whether consumers will buy them.
Consumers want to eat healthier in general, and they’re adapting their shopping habits to meet this goal.
For example, the number of people who choose gluten-free products far outstrips the number of people who are gluten-intolerant. A recent global survey by DuPont Nutrition & Health, found that while only about 1% of people have celiac disease, in some markets as many as 11% buy gluten-free products.
Gluten-free isn’t the only choice consumers are making for health reasons. They’re also interested in bakery products that have clean labels, contain more fiber, and are made with more whole grains and less sugar.
No discussion of consumer demands today is complete without at least mentioning sustainability. Younger consumers, especially, are becoming more attuned to environmental concerns and how their consumption behavior impacts the environment as a whole.
In a recent analysis of various types of online data, Tastewise found that 23% more consumers prioritize sustainability in their food choices now compared to a year ago. Meanwhile, in the Puratos study referenced earlier almost half (46%) of consumers said they look for sustainable products that respect the environment.
Sustainability can take many forms — from reducing energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions to using recyclable packaging. Whatever sustainability actions you take, be sure to let your customers know about them!
Finally, consumers want great value. For some products, value equals price. For example, two-thirds of consumers say price is the most important consideration when purchasing sliced bread. But, as we saw earlier in the study on appearance, consumers are willing to pay more for products they perceive as having a greater value.
Consumer trends come and go, but the five factors on this list are always in high demand. If you have a new product application or are looking to upgrade your equipment, contact us. Our engineers have decades of experience helping bakers create delicious, attractive, high-value products that consumers love.