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BAKERY

Bakery trends to watch out for in 2022
Friday, 21 January, 2022, 14 : 00 PM [IST]
Anil Sharma 
India being one of the largest food producers in the world retains immense potential to reign over the food, agriculture and allied sectors such as processed food segment in world.

The swiftly thriving processed food sector is gaining the adequate attention of major stakeholders in order to preserve and utilise the whopping amount of food produced in the country while serving the consumers better and creating employment opportunities. The bakery segment is the largest section of the processing industry in India and is in the advantageous position when it comes to supply of primary ingredients, giving promising signs of growth.

Over the last few decades, it has expanded consumer base by reaching out to the great percentage of the population of the country.

The affordable prices of cookies, biscuits and related food items have made the bakery segment penetrate the rural areas as equally as that of the urban region; these items account for nearly 72% of the total sales of the sector. This very segment has contributed hugely in making the bakery a major food processing segments in India.

According to a report by market research firm Expert Market Research, the turnover of the industry was around $7.6 billion in 2020. As per the same report, the bakery market is expected to touch $12.39 billion by 2026. The industry is being further fuelled by the demand for bread; it is used for sandwiches, burgers, snacks, etc. and receives a demand for domestic as well as commercial use.

India being one of the most populous countries in the world is a very profitable market for every sector and commodity. Children and young people are the major chunks of this population. While children are attracted towards the confectionery items majorly due to the taste, the young population are enticed due to the taste as well as needs. School going children and office going youth see the confectionery items as an easy and delicious food solution.

Led by myriad factors, the industry bade farewell to 2021 with a promising remark; it continued production post-pandemic and witnessed a bounce in the market. As the New Year begins with new expectations and aspirations, the industry is speculating enhanced business as compared to the previous year. The industry is anticipated to be dominated by some very promising trends in the year that will be the leading force behind the decisions of the organisations.

In the last few years, health consciousness among people has increased significantly. They don't want to compromise on health while having snacks. Before buying any food item, they want to know how it will influence their health. Food producers are looking for ways to make their products abundant with nutrients to target health-conscious consumers. Products having plentiful protein and poorer fat will persuade more consumers.

Furthermore, the presence of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants would be an alluring factor. Reduction in saturated fat levels and calorie count are also expected. As sodium is a major reason behind heart diseases, reduced consumption of salt will continue affecting the decisions of consumers and bakers will have to prepare items accordingly.

An increasing propensity towards nature has also been witnessed among people. Things related to nature have become a major attraction for all. Similarly, an interest in natural ingredients in food items has also been recognised. People are in constant exploration of bakery products prepared by using natural elements. Healthy and delicious baked items can ensure a reasonable consumer turnout while enhancing revenue.

The pandemic has greatly impacted the people, making them choosy when it comes to food. Their preferences for food items have changed, giving more emphasis on the products promising no harmful effects. As sugar is among the ingredients that provoke many health complications if taken in enormous quantities, people want to go for products with nominal sugar. This will be a prominent behaviour of consumers this year while deciding the ingredients for a food item.

The pandemic has also made people avert going out as long as possible unless it's necessary. In such a scenario, demand for products from fresh items would rise further. After some time, baked items tend to become stale. In this year, the bakery industry would have to learn more creative ways to enhance the life of baked goods. As many baked goods are freezer-friendly today, they can be conserved safely. The life of the items needs to be increased so that people can use them for an extended duration.

Visual stimuli have always worked as wonder in grabbing the attention of prospective consumers. In such an attempt to draw attention, people are inundated with a number of such incentives everyday by food producers. It will persist. Bakers will have to find new and creative strategies to draw the attention of consumers. One can use fascinating patterns and extraordinary decorations to make people halt for purchase. This will continue this year too when the consumers will be bombarded with myriad creative designs.

Another aspect of the consumption pattern is the gaining popularity of plant-based that has taken the market by storm. The major reason behind this trend is the disposition of people towards sustainability. This very trend has made companies expand their portfolio and encompass plant-based foods. Sustainability, animal welfare and environmental consequences will work as key drivers in making plant-based foods an integral part of all restaurants and grocery stores in coming years. It is predicted that this market will see a notable rise by the end of this decade.

In recent times the terms ‘organic' and ‘natural' have emerged as major reasons behind the decisions being taken by consumers. In such a scenario, it's a matter of vital importance that how food looks and what practices have been adopted to prepare it. And when it comes to colours, people would like to go with natural ones. The level of cleanliness will be a statement that the natural colours and flavours are used while preparing food. Such foods guarantee myriad health benefits. Thus, there is a palpable shift from synthetic to natural products. Apart from that, the inclusion of floral flavours in food items has increased owing to the consumers' constant search for such items.

With comfort and health, the flavour of spices is expected to observe an inclination of gourmet. Various flavours such as Chili Raspberry, Mexican Hot Chocolate, Cardamom will bring a new taste in cookies, pastries and other items. A combination of familiar flavours with the new one will give a different twist to taste. Ethnic trends will offer some best flavours.

As the New Year is speculated to recognise a boost in commercial activities, the bakery industry will also witness a surge in demand from across age groups. It will have to cater to the consumers while helping them in their care for health. The trends will help it in making favourable decisions about products and the market. There are humongous opportunities that lie ahead for bakers to thrive in 2022; they just have to tap the same efficiently.

(The author is COO at Ferns N Petals - retail & franchise)
 
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