LAS VEGAS Amid the ever-growing wave of better-for-you baked foods, it’s the keto trend that’s proving to have the largest impact on the future of the industry, said Dr. Lin Carson, chief executive officer of BAKERpedia, at her QuickBITES talk at the International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) on Sunday, Sept. 18. 

The keto market, typically described as products low in carbohydrates, grew 23% in the last year alone, Dr. Carson said, and has the potential to be a $12.4 billion industry in 2024. Dr. Carson said the keto category will supersede other popular trends like gluten-free and organic, and eventually will even surpass the white bread market. 

“The keto trend is just the tip of the iceberg,” Dr. Carson said, and reflects consumers’ growing avoidance of sugar and carbohydrates and gravitation towards baked foods with ingredients like fiber and protein.  

Dr. Carson said these trends require bakers to begin thinking about how they can manufacture keto-friendly products — starting now.

“It is a necessity to think about keto because in a year your buyer is going to reach out and ask if you have anything keto — guaranteed,” she said. 

Dr. Carson highlighted a handful of ingredients popular in keto baked foods, including nut flours and dietary fiber, as well as non-caloric sweeteners like inulin, monk fruit, erythritol and stevia.