Taste is king

3-year study reveals keys to consumer behaviour
Naomi Szeben
May 24, 2019
Written by
Bakery clients still prefer a physical location, but bakeries that use social media gain more clients.
Bakery clients still prefer a physical location, but bakeries that use social media gain more clients. Photo: Adobe Stock
Puratos Canada, the Canadian arm of global Belgium-based brand Puratos has released some key insights into the consumer trends and the future of bakeries, with the results of a three-year study.

The 2019 Taste Tomorrow study is the world’s largest independent bakery, patisserie and chocolate consumer survey. Rollo McIntyre shared some consumer insights with attendees.

The 2019 Taste Tomorrow study is the third of its kind, with events that took place in Asia, Europe, North and South America. The study is conducted once every three years on a global scale. The results provided in-depth insights into global and local consumer behaviour while identifying future trends into bakery, patisserie, pastry, and chocolate.

For this year’s study, 17,000 consumers in 40 countries were surveyed. The survey also included interviewing 80 foodies in 8 trend-setting cities and conducting additional interviews with both customers and industry experts.

McIntyre revealed that while online convenience is gaining ground, a bricks and mortar building still the preferred choice. “Shoppers still want the presence of a store, they don’t want shops to disappear.” Part of this preference for a physical space lies in the driving forces behind what compels buyers to select pastry or bread from a shop instead of an online service. The following data was gleaned about what makes a buyer want to go into, buy from and return to a particular bakery:
  • 63 per cent of consumers reported that atmosphere is very important to their buying choice.
  • 57 per cent of consumers said that presentation was important but smell was more important; 68 per cent said that the smell of a bakery or baked good influenced their decision to buy.
  • 56 per cent of consumers stated that “service with a smile,” made them want to choose a personal choice over the impersonal service of an online or un-manned purchase (such as an automatic cashier.)
The study offers a ‘Foodstep’ into the future by tracking the evolution of trends and unveiling new ones. The top nine trends within the North American region include:
  • Taste above all: Clients prefer to have food that tastes decadent. “Taste is king, but experience is queen,” added McIntyre.
  • A healthier future: They are also aware of what they eat and feel what they eat defines them; However, Millennials do not trust big brands. This age group prefers to “discover” smaller venues, then boast of their find online. This presents an opportunity for smaller bakeries to cash in on online social media marketing.
  • Freshness defines the consumer’s perception of quality.
  • Ethical food choices shape our future - more consumers are looking for Fair Trade ingredients or are concerned about having local farmers get their fair share.
  • Clear labels provide transparency: Consumers like to feel that they have some control over their ingredients.
  • Ultimate convenience: 69 per cent of North Americans buy or order their food online.
  • Next level experience: 53 per cent of North Americans are willing to try 3D-printed food.
  • Hyper-personalization: Food that are catered to specific tastes, dietary requirements or have a personal feature that they can connect to will sell more.
Canadians highly value the quality of ingredients and the authenticity of recipes and packaging - food with a real, human touch. Sixty-two per cent of Canadian consumers are willing to pay more for artisan, handcrafted products.

The report also states that 77 per cent of Canadians are drawn to traditional flavours while 55 per cent want to try exotic new global flavours.

Consumers seek greater transparency and increasingly consult packaging labels to have a more informed choice of consumption. Sixty-five per cent of Canadian consumers read ingredient lists and nutrition labels.

The perception of freshness is based on the manufacturing date for 72 per cent of Canadian consumers followed by the smell at 58 per cent. In short, Canadians still crave hand-crafted goods.

For more facts on consumer buying trends, contact Puratos Canada.

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