LAS VEGAS  The future is “phygital,” exclaimed Sophie Blum, chief marketing and channel officer for Puratos, during a Sunday, Sept. 18, session at the Artisan Marketplace, Crafted by Puratos (Booth No. 3645) at the International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE).

In the United States, 26% of consumers would like stores to be more automated, and 30% believe artificial intelligence (AI) will help people make better food choices in the future, according to Puratos’ consumer research.

“Consumers expect food to go beyond nutrition. Mental and physical connections are increasingly important,” Ms. Blum said.

Puratos conducts ongoing consumer research globally to shed light on influential food and bakery trends. The latest research involved human cultural intelligence, trend frameworks and AI.

Trends can have various shapes, she explained, and sourdough started as a trend in 2014. “Today, the sourdough wave is growing very steep,” Blum said.

As for 2022 trends, “Continued Classics” is a key trend for bakery to feed innovation. According to Puratos’ research, 60% of consumers want to try something new, yet 67% would like to have some familiar ingredients.

“Taste and freshness remain the undisputable driver of choice,” she said.