Millennial bread shopping
Educating millennials on the health benefits of bread will continue to play a crucial role in bread market growth.

Millennials live in a time when their busy lives are romanticized on Snapchat and where their diets sometimes seem core to their identity. In their minds, purchasing bread doesn’t align with their lifestyle unless they are dining out. For them, bread has become an inconvenient product with few health benefits compared to other available items. That’s one of the conclusions of a must-read report by Baking & Snack’s millennial editors Charlotte Atchley, Nico Roesler and Anna Wiber in our December issue.

According to the report “Packaged Bread — US — July 2016” by Mintel, packaged bread sales increased only 6% between 2011 and 2016 to $25 billion — sales declined by 1% when adjusted for inflation. Sales of loaf bread, the category’s largest segment, have been weak as well. This may signify that some consumers — likely millennials — are cutting back on bread and gravitating toward options they perceive to be healthier.

You may not agree with them, but you have to hear what they’re saying. Educating millennials on the health benefits of bread will continue to play a crucial role. However, companies should use channels associated with authenticity such as social media influencers rather than more traditional routes.

Our editors suggested innovation will play a large part in resurrecting millennials’ love of bread products. Moreover, bakers should observe trends in industries such as technology or fitness and see how they can be applied to bakery products. By looking outside of the baking sector, our editors suggest that bakers may discover ways to overcome stigmas attached to bread and reinterpret it for eating occasions that appeal to a millennial’s lifestyle.