The ever-burgeoning craft movement is generating greater consumer excitement and influencing nearly everyone who serves the in-store bakery and food service markets. And that’s good news for both artisan and commercial bakers overall as the International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) approaches.
“What I’m seeing is that the younger generation will stand in line for great quality baked goods,” said Michael Cornelis from American Pan, a Bundy Baking Solution, and member of the IBIE 2019 planning committee. “There are a lot of misconceptions out there that no one is eating bread and that people are taking bread out of their diets, but I’ve seen just the opposite. You get a great little bake shop in a cool neighborhood, and there’s a line down the street.”
What makes that shop do so well?
“It’s high-quality product, or they’ve established a certain item that has a unique appeal,” Mr. Cornelis told Baking & Snack magazine for the IBIE roundtable report in its July issue. “There’s room out there in the market for everyone to participate. I don’t think bread is dead. Some might say it’s dying, but I don’t think it’s dead. It’s ready for a comeback.”
That’s a bold statement, but it’s true. Supermarket bread aisle sales remain tepid, and many consumers say they never buy white bread, but they will eat baguettes, brioche, ciabatta and other craft bread with similar nutrition content while dining out or grabbing a coffee at their local Starbucks. That’s because these products are positioned as an upscale component of a sandwich or a treat that complements their cappuccino to start the day.
Bakers need to “craft” an image of bread that resonates with all consumers instead of just making sure the supermarket shelves are full.