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Europain: Discover seven major trends


February 24, 2012
By Bakers Journal

February 24, 2012, Paris – March's Europain Intersuc in Paris is showcasing seven key trends of the moment in its baking and pastry-making section.

A survey has been conducted on the latest trends in both the artisan and the industrial sectors of the bakery and pastry market. This survey highlighted seven trends, which will be the focus of a dedicated Trends Area.

1. Designing shops to be social venues

Today's bakeries and patisseries are designed to reflect the image of the products they sell. From their vantage point front of house, customers can now often see the baker's workshop, and are invited to watch their bread being made. Counters and display units tempt them with different products at different times of day: bread, pastries, snacks, coffee with a little something sweet . . .

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Epitomizing the local shop, traditional bakeries are going even further to meet their customers’ needs by offering them additional services such as selling chocolates, incorporating a tearoom, or even adding a book store.

2. Quality, innovative products and equipment

From new yeast varieties to stone-ground grains and designated-origin salt, top-quality ingredients are essential to produce the best bread.

Thanks to their close relationships with their customers, artisan bakeries can respond rapidly to all new demands. Over the years they have designed new breads with different flavours, to please a new type of consumer with rapidly changing tastes who is always keen to try something new. Today’s trend requires each type of bread to be adapted to its intended uses and matched to the dish it is to be served with.

Furthermore,
modern techniques and state-of-the-art equipment are producing optimized
results while preserving the ancestral values of traditional breadmaking,
according to the principle of “retro-innovation”.

More versatile, more adaptable and more efficient, today’s equipment helps bakers to streamline their output and gear it closely to their customers’ requirements. Thanks to these developments it is possible to combine different baking techniques in any order and at any production rate, while optimizing energy consumption.

3. Looks good, tastes good – and it’s organic

In response to recent food scandals and economic crises, consumers have changed their eating habits and are now demanding higher-quality, fresher products. The bakery trade is no exception.

This trend is increasingly prevalent in the artisan bakery trade, but is also leaving its
mark on industrial baking. Both are striving constantly to improve their
products, and the resultant new bread varieties are true health foods: lower in
salt, with more cereals and more fibre. Soon, new flour types will enable
bakers to create loaves for consumer groups with specific dietary needs, such
as the elderly, the obese and those who are allergic to gluten.

The organic
food sector is flourishing, and organic bread and flours currently represent
13% of the market (taking all types of supply chain and all categories
together).

This quest
for even higher standards also ties in with the broader context of ecological
and sustainable development concerns, which is also reflected in the constant
emergence of new equipment that consumes less energy and respects the
environment.

4. Getting
creative!

Reflecting
the current trends in cooking in general, creativity and refinement are today’s
watchwords in artisan pastry-making. Cubes, cylinders, spheres and pyramids
jostle for attention in shop windows. This trend, instigated by famous pastry
chefs and young talent, has been adopted by consumers who are seduced by the
attractive shapes, colours and flavours. Pastries are no longer mere cakes;
they are artistic creations. Some pastry chefs are going even further and
joining forces with top designers and couturiers to create one-off special
‘collections’.

Industrial
pastry-making is not escaping this trend, and has created ranges of desserts
presented in original, innovative, refined ways.

This new
wave of creativity is also sweeping through the baking sector, as demonstrated
by the recent emergence of new, more sophisticated product ranges. To help them
diversify, bakers now have new methods for shaping loaves, enabling them to
offer their customers a variety of styles and baking techniques.

5. Flavours
from faraway places

Pastry chefs
are now offering consumers in search of something new a range of unabashed,
cross-cultural products inspired by “fusion food”: original combinations of
textures and flavours, inspired by distant lands. This in turn has led to the
emergence of new ingredients, with exotic fruits and spices appealing to
customers. And, following the trend for ‘natural is best’, fruits and flowers
now feature prominently in desserts.

At the same
time another trend, ‘reworked classics’, is rubbing shoulders with this craze
for ‘improbable flavours’. Old favourites such as the eclair are being given a
modern culinary twist, combining creative flair and tradition.

‘Tartines’ –
generously-topped open sandwiches – are a current favourite ‘reworked classic’
in France.

6.
Industrial bakeries aim for artisan quality

Over the
past few years, industrial bakeries and pastry-makers have been striving
relentlessly to attain the goal of artisan quality. With their main outlets in
the mass retail and foodservice sectors, industrial pastry-makers currently
represent 10% of total production in terms of turnover.

And these
professionals are assisted in their efforts to enhance quality by cutting-edge
processes and equipment.

7. Bread:
the new health food

Many
consumers consider it important to eat a healthy, balanced diet, but they are
not willing to sacrifice flavour or enjoyment in the process. Artisan and
industrial bakers and pastry-makers are hence developing new products that are
both healthy and tasty. The former are proposing products free of additives,
with less salt or with flour containing prebiotic fibres, or devising
‘health-boosting’ loaves with added linseed, muesli or fibre or enriched with
omega 3 fatty acids. The latter have developed ranges with less added sugar,
fat, artificial colouring or other additives, but which still taste just as
good.

Europain
runs March 3 to 7 in Paris at Paris Nord Villepinte.


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