The bread and bread products category may seem relatively stable, but beneath the surface are plenty of innovations and growth opportunities, as long as you know where to look. Trends can provide the inspiration for bread manufacturers, and bread manufacturers provide the innovation.
Snacking is a big part of everyday eating. As highlighted in the 2019 trends ‘Snacking: The Definitive Occasion’ and ‘From Snacks to Mini Meals’, three daily meals are being replaced by multiple mini-meals. Individually wrapped items, mini-sizes, and highly flavored products transform breads into a tasty and convenient snack. Smucker’s Uncrustables Peanut Butter Sandwich (US), is a defrost and eat, ready-made peanut butter sandwich. Looking for snack opportunities? Consider Asia, where a growing number of retail and foodservice bakery outlets offer bread products that are meant to be away from home as a snack. One example, Lotte Kirin Big Sweet Red Bean Bread (South Korea), an individually wrapped filled bread bun.
Innova’s ‘Eating For Me’ trend describes consumers who are looking for products that meet their individual diet and lifestyle needs. In three key regions, West Europe, Latin America and North America, health and wellness trends inspire innovation across all categories, including breads, to deliver products that are free from certain ingredients and/or contain healthy ingredients.
It makes sense that gluten free is one of the fastest growing diet claims impacting the bread category. The main ingredient in breads and bread products, wheat flour, is teeming with the protein gluten. Whether for diet reasons or perceived benefits, consumers are avoiding gluten, and that puts a huge amount of pressure on bakery manufacturers to find alternatives to use in bread products. In 2018, 12 percent of products in West Europe featured gluten free claims, up 115 percent over five years. Hatting Gluten Free Oat Pieces (Norway) also are wheat free and starch free. A companion trend, ‘Alternatives to All’, showcases the widening availability of gluten free alternatives to classic wheat flours. Food Bless You Frozen Gluten Free Vegan Pizza Bases (Mexico) are made with a mixture of gluten free flours, including tapioca, corn, pea and potato. They also are vegan, sugar free, and free from artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
The ‘Eating for Me’ consumer may identify with a number of other diets, including vegan – with strong average growth over five years of 47 percent (CAGR, global, 2013-2018) – organic, clean, low carb, and FODMAP (Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides and Polyols) diet, for consumers with stomach problems. In Finland, Fazer Stomach Friendly Rye Bread is FODMAP diet friendly, low sodium, no added sugar, lactose free, and preservative free.
Fiber is back, and that is good for breads! The 2019 trend ‘A Fresh Look at Fiber’ acknowledges the resurgence of fiber as an essential nutrient and ingredient. Fiber claims accounted for 17 percent of European launches in 2018, up from 11 percent in 2013, and are often paired with other health claims. Juvela Artisan Gluten Free Bakery High Fiber Loaf (UK) has added fiber from bamboo, apple and sugar beet; it also is gluten free, celiac approved, a source of calcium and folic acid, and made with gluten free wheat starch. Vida Rustica Panaderia Rustic Bread With Germinated Seeds (Mexico) claims additional fiber from grains and wheat bran, plus omega-3, omega-6, natural ingredients, and germinated seeds.