Study: Consumer bread and pastry buying preferences

Bakers Journal
May 02, 2019
Written by Bakers Journal
Strawberry croissant filled with and made with natural strawberries is both unusual and natural
Strawberry croissant filled with and made with natural strawberries is both unusual and natural
Puratos' Taste Tomorrow event yielded a trove of information for bakers, pastry chefs and restaurateurs who want to know where the trends are headed. 

Rollo McIntyre of Ipsos shared the results of a year-long study to see where the trends are going. It looks like artisanal bread will always have a place at the table, and more customers want their food to come with "a story."

"They want to know its origins, where the flour came from, which region the ingredients originated, when was it made...the customer wants to know if it's 'authentic'. They want something unusual." 

With the rise of social media marketing, McIntyre discussed how the world has become a "community of foodies" and the consumers are linked to craftsmen online, whether they are bakers, pastry chefs or chocolatiers; People enjoy having a personal connection to a chef. "The aspect of community-building is important," McIntyre added. "Sharing your story is important for consumers. They want to feel as though they participated in the food in some way." 

Facts gleaned from McIntyre's speech included that clients are willing to pay more for handmade, artisanal goods, particularly if they have seen it made either in person or online. Another key to increasing a price point is emphasizing the natural ingredients in your products. "People respond to clean-label, easy-to-read and natural ingredients." 

Other consumer facts from the study revealed:
  • 50 per cent of consumers say, "I am what I eat," meaning that what they eat defines them, not necessarily healthy food, but recognizing a higher end product confers status on them. 
  • 45 per cent want sustainable goods
  • 42 per cent want limited plastic packaging, as many are reducing their single-use plastic waste and are looking for merchants who will support that endeavor.
  • 42 per cent are actively looking to ensure that farmers are getting their fair share
  • 90 per cent are worried about food shortage
  • 88 per cent of consumers read the label: The top two facts their search for are nutritional information and ingredients. Consumers respond well to "Free-From" indicators such as "free from artificial colouring."

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