Pastries fill us up, comfort us, satisfy us and fulfill us. As a frontline source of livelihood, baked goods continue to inspire and express many of the hopes, concerns, worries and aspirations we seek in 2022. The past two years have been marked by a increase in home cooking, as well as the desire for convenience, health and immunity.
After the pantry loading attitudes and flour shortages of 2020, bakery processors are reconsidering their product assortments. The largest ‘baked goods’ category includes bread, pastries and sweet baked goods, including cakes, with sales for the category growing 9% in 2020 (Food in Canada industry report, 2021). Leading CPGs in the bakery category are simplifying production, challenging their inventory, streamlining their SKU offerings and improving their responsiveness to consumers. According to food browserthe strains of the ongoing pandemic may take consumers from the practical and austere to the decadent, the extraordinary and a celebration of holistic well-being, as well as a much-needed dose of fun and adventure for our mental health in 2022.
Consumers want wholesome and wholesome products rather than refined carbohydrates and sugars. People look for functional benefits in products and the ingredients that come with them. Healthy digestion, gut microflora and a stronger immune system can be satisfied in new fiber formulations and with ingredients such as nut flours and dark chocolates. Some consumers will continue to seek out products for specialty diets such as paleo, keto, vegan, and allergen-free, grains, and dairy (food browser, December 9, 2021). Baked goods that help boost immunity will also be supported.
The fruit, protein and high fiber content could mix with reishi, chaga or other exotic mushrooms as new ingredients in baked goods. Oats and whole grains remain popular and in demand. Baked goods that are low in refined carbohydrates, trans or saturated fats, sodium and refined sugar, while being higher in natural omega-3s, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, correspond to the main trends in food consumption. health. Consumers are looking to reduce the use of preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial sweeteners or synthetic ingredients (RJ Frometa, September 29, 2021, Vent Magazine).
Baked goods brands are experimenting with and responding to all of these diverse consumer health trends in many ways. Nature’s Bakery, based in Nevada, is a maker of clean-label, plant-based, nut-free and non-GMO soft baked goods, best known for its fig bar. Rule Breaker, a maker of allergen-friendly snacks, uses chickpeas as an ingredient in brownies that are high in protein and fiber while being free of 11 allergens, including dairy, sesame egg, soy and wheat. Baking brand Stonemill Bakehouse, which has a factory in Langley, British Columbia, focuses on plant-based, dairy-free, non-GMO and sustainable baking. In 2020, he launched the Honest Wellness line of vegan protein breads with no added fat, dairy or soy. In 2021, Voortman Super Grains launched a “better for you” cookie using real fruit and whole grains (Food in Canada industry report, 2021). The brand expects an annual growth rate of 30%. Consumer demand for healthy, natural and clean labels will remain strong in 2022. Embassy Ingredients has in fact created a product line of Necol colors derived from vegetable pigments for a wide range of baking applications (Wholesale Snacks & BakeryOctober 27, 2021).
Strong consumer demand for ethical, healthy and, at times, animal-free ingredients has driven brands to look for alternatives. Dairy and egg substitutes can come from wheat, soy, flax, or peas. However, replacing the varied functions of eggs in the bakery is a challenge.
Manitoba-based Merit Functional Foods has created a line of plant-based Puratein canola protein. These proteins are intended to serve as an alternative to eggs for cakes, with functionalities in particular for whipping. Separate diets, such as ketogenic, can be achieved with substitutes, such as stevia lead, chicory root fiber, cassava flour, coconut oil, flaxseed, or extract of rosemary. The desire for fiber enrichment may come from new processing technologies and multifunctional ingredients. The upcycled food and immunity trend is reflected in Fiberstar’s Citri-fi, produced from the by-products of citrus juice processing. Immunity can be boosted with healthier vegetable and nut fats and oils. Companies like Epogee have developed EPG oil (derived from rapeseed) to replace up to 85% of digestible fats in a formulation, with 92% fewer calories (Brewster, IFT, Aug 1, 2021).
Los Angeles-based Bougie Bakes prominently entered the US West Coast market in 2021 with the production and marketing of its direct-to-consumer bakery featuring an assortment of sugar-free cookies, brownies and muffins, dairy-free and gluten-free. . The co-owners emphasize premium ingredients, like Himalayan pink salt, and the use of pasture-raised eggs. They use coconut oil instead of ghee, along with almond flour, plant-based collagen, and unsweetened vanilla macadamia milk. Their products are baked to order with no preservatives, and their range of distinct flavor and ingredient combinations include Pumpkin Pecan Pies, Peppermint Brownies, and Orange Cranberry Muffins. With a nod to sustainability, they use boxes reusable by their clientele (Watrous, July 12, 2021, food entrepreneur).
While product value for money, safety, flavor and health are important drivers of baked goods, sustainability and brand ethics will remain an important part of consumers’ concerns about their products. food. The baked goods sector will seek to align with the broader goals of the food sector to extend its positive impact and build consumer confidence. Packaging will remain an opportunity to differentiate a brand, as long as it is also safe and hygienic. Labeling of sustainability indicators, such as soil regeneration, carbon neutrality, circularity and the use of recycled ingredients, is increasingly common among consumers (E. Schroeder, October 20, 2021, bakery business). Upcycling could see a major breakthrough in 2022, and in the baked goods sector, this can manifest itself in the use of used fruit, coffee grounds or banana peels as natural flavorings. The partnership between farmers, millers and bakers for artisanal products will open up possibilities for greater use of ancestral heirloom grains to build social value, minimize food waste and provide greater social value in supply chains (M. Smith, Baking & SnackingOctober 21, 2021).
The pleasure of eating
Amid the growing desire for good health and greater awareness of social sustainability, simple indulgence through satisfying and comforting baked goods that inspire nostalgia and pleasure could really increase this year. Cooking techniques from ancient cultural traditions could resonate in North American markets. The search for Calic bread, a Korean version of garlic, cheese and sourdough bread, increased by more than 1,200% in 2021, while people also searched for flavors that are both nostalgic, new and comforting, like Smores Brownies or pancakes with separate ingredients (food browser, December 9, 2021). Consumers in 2022 might also turn to the exotic and the spicy, an escape to distant lands, seeking the space between tried and tested flavors and a desire to break away from the monotony and spread of the pandemic with tastes such as blood orange, lime and clementine, or exotic spices from Asia and the Americas. Baked goods offering consumers gourmet flavors and aromas such as pizza, pasta, fries, cheese and chocolates could find an avid audience (E. Crawford, food browserDecember 16, 2021).
This article originally appeared in the February/March 2022 issue of Food in Canada.