A definite need
Expectations are high among consumers and bakery and snack producers; they all seek more from their daily bread. “In the industry today, bakery formulators are looking for products that will help meet consumers’ growing demand for foods that provide nutrition beyond expectation — providing a variety of health benefits,” Ms. Ceule said. “Today’s consumers tend to look beyond package claims to the ingredient labels when making purchase decisions to decide if a product meets their health and wellness needs.”
Fortification interests consumers, she continued, because so many are concerned about deficiencies in their daily vitamin and mineral intake. “Over the past few years, dietary trends have really played a big role in the development of new products in the bread category,” Ms. Ceule observed. “With consumers looking for more from their bread, there is an opportunity for bakers to develop new products that tap into those trends.”
Sam Wright IV, CEO, the Wright Group, described the North American diet as needing improvement, especially as lifestyles become more hectic. “Everyone is busier, especially kids,” he said. The heavy reliance on fast food and quick-to-prepare processed foods results in diets heavier in sodium, sugars, saturated fats … and deficient in nutrients. “This can be addressed by incorporating needed vitamins, minerals and other ingredients into foods and beverages that kids and active adults prefer,” he said.
People are adopting new attitudes, Mr. Wright noted. “Food is being looked at as medicine by many consumers, and companies are working to deliver these higher-level health benefits beyond satisfying hunger.”
Dietary preferences are changing, too, Mr. Rodriguez noted. “There has also been tremendous growth in vegan and flexitarian diets, where consumers are looking to avoid animal-based products or ingredients. This creates a great opportunity for pulse-based ingredients, which are plant-based,” he said.
Continue reading to see how formulators are stepping up to the plate.