Bakery is a unique and fundamental food category, which has long been a staple of the human diet. ARYZTA’s own programme of research shows that for consumers today, bakery remains an emotional world: a place of comfort, nostalgia and pleasure. In the minds of European consumers, bakery is about freshness, a certain weight and feel, warmth, texture and smell. It is about a textured multi-sensorial set of expectations and is deeply evocative.
It is no surprise then that the bakery category across Europe continues to evolve, with growth and innovation occurring in the key product areas which match consumer trends, needs and meal occasions. Underpinning this growth are four broad consumer trends across Europe:
Experience and indulgence is a key trend, particularly as European markets recover from the economic difficulties of recent years. Consumers are increasingly looking for bakery items which deliver more of an experience and provide an element of indulgence. Sweet treats and artisan breads are the strongest growing categories within speciality bakery. Textures claims are on the rise, and the growth in indulgent hybrid bakery items has been well documented. Overall, this trend is driving an increased demand for quality and innovation.
Convenience is another key trend, with the continued rise of snacking across the consumer day-parts and ongoing growth of food on-the-go.
A focus on health and wellness is also increasing, as what we eat comes under increasing scrutiny from wider societal health pressures across Europe. Consumers are also looking for more product information, in a language they can understand. All of this is driving movement towards cleaner and clearer labels. There is also an increasing demand for more choice and innovation in ‚free from‚ areas such as gluten free. With this context, consumers are seeking more permissibility to eat a little of what they fancy with a nod to health.
Comfort and simplicity are also important as some consumers seek out simpler, natural foods.
Together, these four high level consumer trends are driving growth and innovation in bakery items which offer an elevated experience and indulgence, greater convenience, support wellness and permissibility, or deliver simplicity and comfort.
As this exciting category looks set to continue to evolve further across Europe, ARYZTA innovation and insight teams remain focused on staying at the leading edge of developments, to continue to deliver market-leading solutions to customers.