Consumers’ attitudes about bread and health are evolving. A consumer survey by market research firm Mintel, Chicago, IL, found that 62% of people in the US say they prefer the taste of whole grain or whole wheat bread over white bread, while only 31% said they favor white over wheat or whole grain.

The whole grain trend is just one outcome of consumers’ growing awareness of health and nutrition. Buns and rolls are no exception to this increasingly powerful movement. To keep up with the public’s increasing concern about their food, bun and roll bakers need to consider things like artificial ingredients, whole grains, sugar and the source of ingredients.

“It’s important to us to come up with products that meet the consumer’s needs,” said Bohn Popp, vice-president of marketing, Aunt Millie’s Bakery, Fort Wayne, IN. The company markets some of its buns as clean label and some as whole grains to reach health-conscious consumers who avoid artificial ingredients or desire the health benefits of whole grains. “The more you can associate the brand with those claims, the better.”