Consumer tastes and trends change all the time. From health habits to popular flavors and social concerns, bakery businesses must keep up with it all. As with any other company, current trends will all impact what consumers want from their local bakery.
1. Hottest Flavors
From mood-altering adaptogens to hot spices and upgraded comfort foods, let’s look at the trends currently influencing flavor options.
Consumers are showing interest in flavors that not only taste good, but that do more for their physical and emotional well-being. You may notice more options, including mood-enhancing flavors like adaptogens, functional fruits, and botanicals. These ingredients can help with mental concentration, sleep, and mindfulness. Flavors like turmeric, ginger, and lavender all fit in here.
Some popular flavors are also known to help with the physical body. For example, acai supports immune responses, apple cider vinegar aids digestion, and ingredients high in antioxidants, such as matcha, are excellent for skin, hair, and nails.
Sweet and Spicy
Warming spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, and turmeric used to only come out during the holiday season. There is a trend to use these and other spicy flavors year-round. Some popular spicy flavors include chai, ginger, cayenne, spiced maple, anise, and black pepper.
With the need for more comfort foods lately, the classics are returning. However, these aren’t your grandma’s classic flavors, and they show a push for more sophisticated tastes. For example, the humble vanilla is huge right now, but you’ll find it in fancier flavor options such as vanilla honeycomb or oak-aged vanilla.
Tastes of the World
Consumers have the desire to travel around the world with flavors this year. The excitement of trying new international tastes and ingredients right in your hometown has led to a rise in the popularity of flavors such as mochi, turmeric, yuzu, tamarind, and matcha. This trend shows no signs of stopping as travel has opened back up.
There is also an emphasis on tastes and flavors that are grounded in cultural traditions. Middle Eastern, Japanese, and Chinese flavors are especially popular.
2. Insta-Worthy Food
The camera eats first, right? While posting everything you eat on social media may not be as popular as it once was, for a truly good-looking meal or bakery treat, the cameras still come out before people eat.
The visual appeal of food influences consumer behavior. Customers will go out of their way to find a particularly exciting-looking treat, not only for the taste of it but also for the chance to photograph and share it on social media. Rainbow bagels, for example, are a recent viral bakery trend.
Visual trends matter not only for food but also for packaging and company branding. Get more attention with bright, eye-catching colors and designs that should be photographed and shared.
3. Health Trends
Health trends will always influence food businesses, especially bakeries. Consumers are looking for food that offers new opportunities in taste and experience, as well as more natural and healthy options.
Plant-based foods are trending right now. There is rising consumer demand for dairy and egg-free alternatives. You may also see more bakeries and food businesses offering superfood ingredients, such as chia seeds.
Studies have found that customers are willing to pay more for products that claim to be more natural and healthy. There is also evidence that smaller, snack-sized treats, which are more beneficial due to their size, may be more on-trend and appealing to current consumers.
Environmental and social responsibility shown by businesses has become more and more popular with the younger generations. Bakeries that are mindful of their ecological impact and vocal about their responsible positions may be rewarded with more customers and higher customer engagement.
Some policies to help your business be more environmentally friendly include:
- Cutting down on the number of single-use and disposable products
- Reducing food waste
- Planning sustainable and locally sourced menus
- Investing in sustainable packaging
Once you have an environmental plan, outline your policies on your business’s website, social media accounts, and branding.
5. Locality and Freshness
Focusing on the locality of ingredients is not only environmentally sustainable, but it also promotes the idea of offering super fresh products. Consumers are looking for transparency in the food they eat. They want to know where everything was sourced, who was responsible for preparing it, and when it was made.
In a bakery, freshness often equates with quality. Being able to bake and offer products on the same day of sale or even throughout each day gives your business a freshness advantage. Baking from frozen bread dough or pre-made baked goods may seem like it goes against the chance of offering the highest quality products, but starting from frozen allows you to bake on demand. This ensures the freshest out-of-the-oven taste.
Food industry businesses feel trends change more than any other industry. While each season brings new flavors, ingredients, and popular products, it is luckily not too hard to keep up with what bakery customers are looking for.