Bread for health
While consumers primarily turn to baked goods for a moment of pleasure, health is becoming an increasingly important factor affecting purchasing decisions. Cleaner ingredient lists are becoming more of a priority for consumers – almost three-quarters of Brits who regularly check labels on bakery products look for refined sugar content, whilst 65% search for additives (FMCG Gurus, 2022). Similarly In the US, 42% of consumers say they’re influenced by clean ingredient lists, whilst 39% are swayed by nutrition scores and 28% by specific product claims (Cargill, 2023)
Bread that is packed full of vitamins and minerals is just one-way bakeries are making bread for health. US bakery brand Sara Lee’s new White Bread Made with Veggies contains the equivalent of one cup of vegetables per loaf, alongside added vitamins A, D and E. And fellow US start-up Sea & Flour’s carbon-negative bread is infused with seaweed, and fortified with vitamins A and K, iron, folate, calcium, magnesium and zinc.
It goes beyond vitamin and minerals. Spanish food-tech start-up MIM Habits has brought the world’s first-ever line of postbiotic breads to the market, with options to help with immune regulation, bowel health, stress relief and hypertension.
As seen across multiple F&B sectors, sustainability has become increasingly important to bakery consumers too, with a third of Brits claiming to be aware of the eco-friendly credentials of the baked items they buy. This is matched by the industry’s concerted efforts to address soil health, waste and plant-based innovation.
Bakery businesses are investing in regenerative and other sustainable farming initiatives. In the UK, sustainable farm and flour manufacturer Wildfarmed has collaborated with retailer Marks & Spencer to launch a range of bread products containing its regeneratively produced wheat flour.
The drive for sustainable solutions doesn’t impact just farming and flour, but also ensuring other ingredients are climate friendly and animal friendly. The plant-based sector is showing steady growth, globally expected to expand from $298m in 2023 to $491.5m in 2033 – with the UK, US, China and India emerging as key markets. (FMI, 2023).
In France, where numbers of consumers following plant-based diets remains relatively low, there has been a boom in high-end vegan patisseries. A popular example being Land & Monkey in Paris, which opened its first site just before the pandemic and have now expanded to six locations across the city.