On a global basis, the health and wellness movement can be interpreted in many ways. From clean label and organic to non-G.M.O. — the trend’s evolution varies depending on the country. Bioengineered foods are pretty much a non-starter in Japan and most European nations, and many more countries have stricter definitions of what constitutes clean label than the United States does.
Maria Carolina Gollo, innovation/global marketing, for Grupo Bimbo cautioned that focusing on organic and non-G.M.O. products could be a money-losing proposition in some markets.
“In most of Latin America, people are not willing to pay more for organic because they are price-conscious, and they do not know what G.M.O. means,” she said.
Ms. Gollo admitted she struggles with the definition of clean label, which is not a consumer term.
“What is clean label?” she asked. “Is it only natural ingredients? Not more than five ingredients? Is it organic? The truth is that each company has its own definition of what clean label means. And Grupo Bimbo also has its own, that may vary according to the market we´re playing in.”
That doesn’t mean non-G.M.O. or organic can’t provide a profitable part of a portfolio, especially for bakeries targeting millennials and more affluent, health-minded consumers. At the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association show, Rietmann, a Saarlouis, Germany, mix manufacturing company, touted its “Protein Bread” that offers 30% protein, 4.8% carbs and 15% fiber per serving. The non-G.M.O. protein bread mixes were featured in sandwich loaves, but they may be used in ciabatta, artisan bread and any type of loaf, excluding some flatbreads such as pita, noted Santiago Urti, representative Spain, U.S. and Latin America.
“We see protein everywhere,” he said. “People are more educated. They like to know what’s in their food.”
Other highlighted varieties included a gluten-free mix, a quinoa loaf with a significant source of minerals and a chia bread with a good source of protein, fiber, antioxidants and calcium.
“We are a worldwide company,” Mr. Urti said. “We probably wouldn’t be displaying any different products if we were in a show in the Middle East or Latin America. The breads are pretty much the same everywhere because they’re healthy and trendy.”