Will 2019 be the year bread makes a comeback? According to a new Facebook report, the product’s reputation among consumers is turning around for the better as food start-ups introduce new iterations.
The 2019 Topics & Trends Report from Facebook IQ is a review of topics of conversations that grew among the social media site's American users from January 2017 to October 2018. Given the size of its user base and its research of similar data patterns, the company believes that the subjects discussed in the report will continue to receive increased attention from consumers.
While bread’s status has suffered from the popularity of low-carb diets, the report suggested that food start-ups introducing diet-friendly bread are changing perceptions about the item. Deemed “Bread 2.0,” companies are using alternative ingredients and baking processes to create bread that aligns with modern dietary needs.
“Food start-ups are innovating bread with processes like slow carb baking, or slow natural fermenting, which creates breads with lower glycemic indexes,” said Lucie Greene, global director, The Innovation Group at J. Walter Thompson Intelligence, in the report. “In the process, they are also creating loaves with increased bioavailability of nutrients. In doing so, food start-ups are generally raising awareness that not all bread is bad — it’s the overly processed, sugar- and preservative-laden varieties that have proven problematic for many diet plans.”
These new bread varieties have led consumers to become more interested in alternative ingredients such as rice flour and einkorn wheat, which both experienced conversation growth on the site.
Ms. Greene attributed the turnaround and heightened interest to consumers becoming more sophisticated in their dietary choices.
“In the face of dietary concerns, this is an example of a previously ‘unhealthy’ food category being reinvented by rethinking the process, returning to natural and traditional techniques over mass production,” she said.