We’ve seen a growth in bakery over the past year, with 40% of all off-premise visits in British foodservice now including the purchase of a bakery product. These visits have been steadily increasing over the past three years with consumers spending £7.9bn on bakery in the year ending September 2019, accounting for 14% of the entire food industry’s value.
One of the year’s biggest restaurant openings, Flor by James Lowe, in Borough Market, specialises in in-house bakery, while The NPD Group predict that, by 2022, bakery visits could increase by as much as 10%.
Earlier this week, bakery ingredients manufacturer British Bakels released findings from consumer research into purchasing patterns and behaviour, highlighting five main trends that could drive product innovation and NPD in 2020.
Having the guts
Health/wellness has been a popular area for consumers this year, with British Bakels pointing to an opportunity for the baking industry in terms of fibre, which aids gut health. Sourdough bread is one of the most common of fermented foods, with parents looking to introduce more fibre into their children’s diet a potential new area for innovation.
Up to the year ending September 2019, reports have shown that savoury bakery products are growing slightly faster (year-on-year servings up 2.5%) than sweet bakery (year-on-year servings up 2.2%), with continuing concerns over sugar providing increased opportunities for savoury baked goods to thrive from 2020.
Looking at wider environmental issues, Bakels say that food waste and packaging will continue to come to the fore, with the company pointing to their recent work creating bread pudding with leftover white baguettes and banana bread with surplus bananas.
There can be little doubt that the vegan boom will continue over into 2020, making it a key innovation driver going forward. Bakels claims that variety and quality will be main areas for NPD teams.
“With consumers expecting a strong variety of high-quality products, bakers expect the same from their ingredients suppliers,” said the company. “Vegan ingredients that display versatile qualities allow bakers to add choice to their vegan offering and give consumers attractive seasonal options.”
Meanwhile, personalisation is tipped to be big in 2020, with Bakels highlighting Harrods’ service where customers can shop while their purchased sourdough breads are flour-stencilled with their initials, baked and finished.
Permissible indulgence is also mentioned, with cakes being cut to size per customers’ orders (as seen at Danish baker Ole & Steen), allowing for enhanced customer experience and for premium cakes to be viewed as more accessible in terms of treats.
According to Mintel, 29% of consumers would be interested in bread delivery subscriptions, with convenience high on the agenda going into 2020. Bakel say that there could be opportunities for smaller bakery operations to increase their customer base with bread delivery, if logistical challenges can be overcome.
Finally, the continuing benefits of fresh produce (and cakes in particular) are highlighted with Mintel finding that ‘freshly baked’ is the most important cake attribute for consumers willing to pay more, particularly with parents of under-5s.
“Since cakes are often bought on impulse, customer experience in-store through communication of craftmanship, novel ingredients and even live finishing boost purchase probability,” said the ingredient manufacturer.