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Artisan-Style Bread Trends in 2022

First, it was ‘conscious travel’: holidays that prioritized environmental protection and supporting the local economy. Now, welcome to the world of ‘conscious baking’. This movement is comprised of several different trends that have emerged in recent years. These include the preference for vegan, gluten-free, and artisan-style products. ‘Artisan-style’ simply means baked goods that you might find in your local bakery: think of seeded buns, crusty sourdough, or knotted bread rolls. The popularity of this baking style grew during successive lockdowns when many bread and cake fans either took up baking again or rediscovered a fondness for traditional goods with local ingredients.

The ethical breadbasket

Conscious baking’ describes the growing market for both healthier and more artisan-style products, and it’s a booming segment for industrial bakeries. It’s tied in with the trend of so-called ‘conscious consumerism’, a term used to describe the growing trend of consumers who are more in touch than ever before with health and sustainability. According to a recent study on global grocery shopping habits by Deloitte, 64% of consumers are now more interested in the impact of food on their health while 70% are willing to pay more for organic products. Artisan products are generally seen as healthier, with added nuts and seeds and more traditional baking techniques such as sourdough often used. Research shows that engaged consumers are now willing to pay 80–100% more for bread with rustic or artisan-style qualities. So, upgrading your standard loaf can pay real dividends!

Sustainability is another large factor in these consumers’ purchasing decisions, so ‘field-to-fork’ traceability is another good way to win them over. This is supported by a recent Nielsen study that found three out of four shoppers continue to prioritize ingredient transparency in their purchase decisions. So, the more you can inform and educate potential customers, the more they will warm to your brand. It’s part of the ‘artisan mindset’, which favors more local ingredients with a lower environmental impact.

Healthy Choices, a Healthy Planet

As well as environmental concerns, the pandemic has added fuel to the global health and wellness megatrend. Global bakery businesses are increasingly catering to this growing consumer segment in their sourcing and product development decisions. From dairy-free to plant-power, alternative and “added-value” ingredients are moving from a niche concern to front and center in consumers’ minds. Although many consumers are still worried about the fat and sugar content in their baked goods, the focus in 2022 is shifting to products that can offer positive health benefits. And ‘artisan-style’ products are ideally placed to offer the added nutrition factor that consumers desire.

For artisan-style bread, this could include nutrient-rich grains like spelled, quinoa, and amaranth – otherwise known as ‘power ingredients’ that boost a bread’s nutritional profile. And Grupo Bimbo’s continuous investments in food companies that foreground ‘super-ingredients’ like chia and quinoa show that the trend is here to stay. As part of this, alternative flours are on the rise. Whether it’s gluten-free, wholewheat, rice- or even vegetable-based (e.g., cauliflower), these flour alternatives are playing an increasingly large role in the bakery aisle as they are often considered healthier than traditional flours. More ‘functional’ ingredients – such as added protein or vitamins – will also add pulling power on-shelf.

Gut-Friendly Baking

‘Conscious baking’ and the rise of ‘artisan-style’ products are all about feeding the whole person. One of the best ways to achieve this is with ingredients that support the internal microbiome, otherwise known as your gut. This has become a new frontier of health, and consumers are becoming increasingly aware of its importance. That means that fiber-rich and probiotic products will continue to be a growing trend. The industry is serious about providing both a healthy and tasty experience in the battle to attract consumers’ increasingly sophisticated palates.

A Healthier, More Sustainable Future

The growing awareness of the human impact on the planet has shaped a new generation of ‘conscious consumers’ who are motivated to make informed choices about what they buy, from fashion to food. That’s why now is the perfect time to expand your range to include more ‘conscious baking’ choices. Remember, the ‘artisan mindset’ is all about fewer, better ingredients that do you good. And more traditional baking styles with a dash of finesse will go a long way to winning over these engaged consumers. In addition, the ongoing preference for more natural and ‘power’ ingredients, has created a fast-growing market segment that can help your bread products find a new audience. It’s no wonder that Smart bakeries are investing in equipment that helps them produce baked goods to cater to this market.

Interested in finding out more about how your bakery can transition to producing healthier or more ‘artisan-style’ products? Book a consultation with Lex Van Houten [email protected]