The increasing role of health indicators

by Joanie Spencer
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Many consumers view bakery products as unhealthy.
 
 

AMSTERDAM — At Rademaker’s demo day, held May 5 at the company’s global headquarters in The Netherlands, Chris Brockman, global bakery analyst, Mintel, spoke to a group of global bakery producers and suppliers on some of the key international bakery trends happening today.

Topping the list was health concerns. Guess what? They’re holding back consumption of baked goods.

“There’s a high concern for health in bakery products,” Mr. Brockman said. “It’s a limiter, but there are also opportunities create healthy incentives, too.”

Concern for health is not just an issue for American food consumption, although the United States is certainly leading the way, according to Mintel research. Fifty-four per cent of American consumers believe bread to be lacking in nutrients. And in Brazil, 42% of consumers feel baked goods are just generally unhealthy.

Conversely, 41% of consumers in the U.K. said they would be more apt to buy a baked food if it contained added superfoods or seeds such as chia or quinoa.

Here’s the rub: Bread isn’t what consumers call “diet friendly.” And while diets per se have fallen out of favor, the practice of “lifestyle dieting” is happening around the world. According to Mintel research, gluten-free diets have increased from 2014 to 2016 in France, Italy, Spain and Poland. And in Spain, when asked if they would cut out bread if a diet suggested they do so, 60% of Mintel’s survey respondents said yes.

Bread featuring ingredients such as seeds, ancient grains, fiber or fruits and vegetables may be positioned as a healthy choice.
 

To address this, bakers must position bread as a healthy food choice, Mr. Brockman said. Ingredients such as seeds, ancient grains, fiber, fruits and vegetables, and added nutrients are the tools to get them there.

“Protein is even making inroads,” he observed.

While ancient grains are gaining notoriety, vegetables are beginning to soak up the spotlight for health claims in baked foods. In Finland, Fazer offers beetroot and carrot bread, and Germany’s Leiken Ukorn Fit & Vital Supergreens bread is made with spinach, nettle and millet. And in The Netherlands, No Fairytales Carrot Tortilla touts 45% vegetables on its label.

As consumers diet through healthy lifestyles, bread does not have to be the enemy. It can actually be a healthy choice that helps consumers help themselves.   
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READER COMMENTS (1)

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