LAS VEGAS – Amid a gradually receding health crisis and intensifying financial crisis, consumers are becoming increasingly deliberate in their eating choices, said DeeAnn Roullier, customer insights and marketing research leader at Cargill (Booth No. 5453) at the International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE).
Tapping into TrendTracker, a proprietary consumer trends tracking tool Cargill uses to inform its team of ingredient supply professionals, Ms. Roullier spoke Sept. 17 in an IBIE presentation, “Consumer Trends and Insights for the Bakery World.”
“We’re seeing consumers make more thoughtful decisions about how they spend their time and money,” Ms. Roullier said.
Cargill’s data show two thirds of consumers are looking at the ingredient list before purchasing a food or beverage, Ms. Roullier said. In some cases, consumers are looking at the lists for ingredients they want to avoid and in others for ingredients they are seeking.
“They check the ingredient list mainly to avoid certain ingredients,” she said. “It skews 60/40 toward avoidance. We also see that both seeking and avoidance, and I call this a covid impact.”
Scrutiny of baked foods is less intense than other products, Ms. Roullier said.
“That percentage is lower,” she said. “It’s still a good chunk of people, with 52% of people saying they check the ingredient list in savory (baked) foods and 45% in sweet baked foods. It’s lower than some categories. Lower than the two-thirds for food and beverage overall but still a good proportion of consumers.”
Across processed foods broadly, non-GMO and organic food products continue to enjoy growing interest, Ms. Roullier said. She cited Nielsen data showing double-digit growth throughout the pandemic.
“Manufacturers have not produced more natural or organic, but they are responding with more non-GMO products, especially the new products with a butterfly (Non-GMO Project verified). This extends to bakery. Two-thirds of global consumers say non-GMO is appealing in bakery. Non-GMO was the top claim for bakery. It beat out reduced fat, reduced sodium and organic.”