Low-carb, gluten-free remain top of mind for baking industry

by Dan Malovany
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For those who thought the low-carb trend was dead, think again. That was the message that bakers received during the American Bakers Association annual convention last week in Aventura, Fla. More than half of those consumers surveyed by the Natural Marketing Institute indicated that they used low-carb foods and beverages in 2012.

While the percentage of low-carb users is down significantly from its heights in 2008, the number of people buying these products rebounded last year, and they’re most popular among Gen Y consumers. Likewise, gluten-free saw an uptick in 2012, with about one-third of consumers surveyed indicating they used these products even though only 1% of Americans reportedly have gluten allergies.

The baking industry can debate whether low-carb and gluten-free diets are a fad or trend. One thing is for certain: They remain a problem for all producers of baked foods.

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