Bread consumption woes are making a mark in E.U.
June 17, 2014
When it comes to bread consumption, the woes plaguing the overall North American baking industry are making their mark felt in many European countries as well. Speaking at a recent global baking seminar held at Rademaker NV, Culemborg, The Netherlands, Anne Fremaux, manager, GIRA Consulting & Research, noted overall E.U. bread consumption decreased by 0.2% during the past decade.
Although actual consumption varies in the 27 European countries GIRA monitors, Ms. Fremaux predicted the market will remain stagnant through 2016. In fact, nearly all countries — with the exception of Turkey — will experience consumption gains of less than 1% or losses of up to 1.5%, according to GIRA.
Major trends include increased frequency of snacking, which is boosting sales of savory pastries. Gluten-free, clean label and sodium reduction have emerged as popular movements on both continents. While overall sales of par-baked bread are expected to increase, some E.U. retailers now face court challenges claiming it’s misleading to label baked-off products as “hot and fresh.”
In countries of the U.K. and Greece, there are calls for regulations on baked-off bread and rolls. Finally, let’s hope that some retail concepts don’t gain traction on a global scale. In Belgium, Ms. Fremaux noted, one company is selling bread through a vending machine. And in France of all places, a store called “Yesterday’s Bread” is selling, yes, day-old baguettes for half price. Give the store credit for truth in advertising. However, “Yesterday’s Bread” sounds like a “pain” to eat.