Bakers Journal

Modern twists on artisanal breads

May 27, 2022
By Elaine O’Doherty, Ardent Mills

How to capitalize on textures, flavours and health benefits of breads

By experimenting with modern takes on artisanal breads, bakeries can spearhead and drive demand for diversified products. PHOTO: © bojanstory / E+ / Getty images

There’s no question about it: consumers continue to crave modern, fresh takes on bakery classics. Able to harness an array of emerging and specialty ingredients, nutritional benefits, and eccentric flavours, breads are experiencing a renaissance of consumer-induced elevation and innovation. 

In this article, we’ll discuss ways bakers can capitalize on this “modern artisanal” trend – grounded in the textures, flavours and health benefits of breads that meet consumers’ preferences and lifestyle needs.

Infuse wellness trends into breads
Spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers are paying close attention to the ingredients in their food – with a sustained, renewed focus on nutritional well-being, further fuelled by trending lifestyle diets and emerging ingredients. 

In addition, as consumers themselves continue to bake more at home, there’s a heightened level of expectation for bakers to introduce innovative options that aren’t readily available at the grocery stores or easily made at home themselves. 

Within the bakery sphere, natural sweeteners, fibre and protein additions are in high demand. This comes as consumers look to consume baked goods infused with natural, non-modified ingredients that may help support healthier or perceived healthier nutritional profiles. Ingredients such as chickpeas and chickpea flour check this box without compromising taste. They can also cater to those seeking keto-friendly, vegan or even gluten-free lifestyles.

Embrace unexpected breads with unexpected ingredients
From a mid-morning treat to a much-needed dessert break, bakeries can re-embrace the role bread plays outside of the traditional lunch sandwich, especially when it comes to snacking. 

More and more, bakers are experimenting with recipes that comprise unique ingredients and flavour profiles, such as carrot and zucchini, to add bold colour and a perceived healthier, modern twist that meets consumers in every moment. 

An interesting movement to keep an eye on is bread profiles with prebiotic and postbiotic ingredients that may provide supplementary benefits and give an unexpected, modern flair to everyday breads. 

Experiment with ancient and emerging grains
Ancient grains are becoming mainstream. And, as consumers continue to expect more innovation that pushes the boundaries, it’s time for bakers to follow suit. Opened by the “floodgates” of quinoa, of which Canada has the third highest consumption per capita, bakeries can proactively identify and activate around the next frontier of ancient and emerging grains, spanning amaranth to barley, rye, spelt, einkorn and more. From muffins to pizza to flatbread, ancient grains can provide unique texture and flavour profiles that appeal to consumers. 

Bakeries should embrace modern ingredients that meet consumers’ evolving needs and give artisanal breads an exciting flair. By experimenting with modern takes on artisanal breads, bakeries can spearhead and drive demand for diversified offerings that satisfy, nourish and push the boundaries. / BJ

Elaine O’Doherty is Marketing Lead Canada for Ardent Mills.

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