Bakers Journal

Highlights from Puratos’ Taste Tomorrow conference: trends shaping the future of food

September 28, 2023
By Bakers Journal

Lemon Madeleines, developed by Puratos' team of chefs and on display in The Marketplace at Taste Tomorrow, feature a coating containing their smoothie mixture and encourage small indulgences. Photo: Bakers Journal

Puratos highlighted industry trends and consumer preferences at its two-day Taste Tomorrow 2023 conference that was held in Austin, Texas, on Sept. 19 and 20.

“By monitoring emerging trend signals and predicting their growth trajectories, we are able to gain insight into the future of our industry,” said Jaina Wald, vice-president marketing, Puratos USA. “Our goal is to remain at the forefront of innovation and ensure that our partners and clients stay ahead of the curve. By understanding consumer needs, motivations, moments and narratives, Puratos delivers a holistic understanding of the current landscape and envisions the future of food.”

Wald said the following trends will help shape the future of bakery, patisserie and chocolate in North America:

The “tech-inspired” revolution: Embracing innovation and craftsmanship

North America’s food landscape is undergoing an astonishing transformation through the “tech-inspired” revolution. The region’s fastest-growing trend, captivating both consumers and professionals seeking to harmonize traditional craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology is manifesting in the use of AI-powered generation and 3D printing.

“By fusing technology and culinary craftsmanship, we’re pushing creative boundaries and entering a new era of recipe personalization with tools like ChatGPT and text-to-image generators,” Wald said. “Technologies like 3D printing bring culinary visions to life, fostering unparalleled experimentation and elevating the entire industry.”

In addition to AI technologies influencing recipe generation, one in three consumers believe that AI will help them make better food choices.

“Classics continued” and “fusion flavours”

Puratos research found that more than half (69 per cent) of the North American consumers polled are looking for nostalgic, familiar culinary experiences. Another 64 per cent of respondents are interested in experimenting with food presented in new ways.

“This distinctive duality of desiring classic comforts as well as the thrill of the unexplored presents an exciting opportunity for industry professionals to leverage the power of classics while reinventing finished goods to encourage exploration and discovery,” Wald said.

The “gut feeling” trend

A substantial 76 per cent of North American consumers recognize the essential role of improving gut health for overall health – from a boost in immunity to enhanced mental well-being. In fact, 66 per cent express interest in food products designed to enhance and enrich gut health.

Eighty-four per cent of North American consumers acknowledge the positive effect of fibre on digestion.

“This striking interest in gut health among North American consumers is translating into a demand for multipurpose gut-friendly foods that offer holistic health benefits and enhanced energy,” Wald said.

This increased focus on gut health has prompted a surge in demand for bakery, sweet goods, and chocolate products infused with probiotics, prebiotics and fibre. Eighty-four per cent of North American consumers acknowledge the positive effect of fibre on digestion.

Sourdough emerges as an unwavering symbol of this trend, holding its position as one of the most popular goods in this category among consumers. Sourdough fermented bread stands out for its superior digestibility, a result of its extended fermentation process. This slow fermentation unlocks an array of advantages: increased release of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, contributing to an overall enhanced nutritional content.

Plant forward: Cultivating a greener indulgence

The “plant forward” movement emerges as a prominent and compelling subject of online discussions in North America, underscoring a transformative evolution in people’s dietary preferences. In this era of heightened consciousness, consumers have become acutely aware of the profound ripple effect their food choices can create on the environment. The surge of interest in plant-based options echoes this growing realization, with nearly half (44 per cent) of individuals perceiving plant-based foods as a natural choice.

In North America, 53 per cent of consumers recognize the positive impact that pant-based choices have on the environment. Another 46 per cent believe plant-based offerings both cater to their well-being and are a healthier choice than animal-based products.

As this trend of conscious consumption continues to evolve, consumers are setting high standards for the quality and taste of plant-based products.

Enjoy these Facebook photo highlights from the event, including innovative products featured in The Marketplace. Watch for detailed coverage at and in the next print issue of Bakers Journal.


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