As the International Baking Industry Exposition approaches, let’s take a look at what’s happening in Europe.
Overall, the E.U.’s total bakery consumption reached €147.3 billion ($165 billion) in 2016, according to Gira, a research firm. Bread accounted for 54% of sales, followed by patisserie (24%), viennoiserie (15%) and savory pastry (7%). By volume, Gira reported that E.U. consumption reached nearly 40 million tons, of which 77% came from bread, followed by patisserie (11%), viennoiserie (9%) and savory pastry (3%). At 71% fresh-baked foods dominate bakery consumption while packaged products with a long shelf life (24%) and packaged-to-bake items (5%) make up the remainder.
European bakery consumption remains almost static, noted Christopher Houston, market intelligence manager, Lantmӓnnen Unibake, which supplied the Gira data for Baking & Snack’s August report on European bakery trends. Based in Copenhagen, Lantmӓnnen Unibake operates 36 bakeries, including its artisan bakery in St. Petersburg, Fla., that produces a variety of European-style bread, buns, rolls, pastries and other frozen baked foods for more than 20 international markets. Like in North America, Mr. Houston sees “premiumization of everything from beer to burgers” as a major trend along with the much-publicized movement toward plant-based foods.
“Price is still a focus particularly in the retail sector as discount chains continue to develop market share across all European markets,” he added.
Despite some uncertainty over Brexit in the U.K., Mr. Houston sees a positive outlook for the European baking community. He said urbanization encourages consumers to eat out more frequently and seek convenient food formats while sustainability — defined as environmental impact, social responsibility and health and wellness — remains a paramount priority with E.U. operators and consumers.