Concepts for success: January-February 2013

Diane Chiasson
January 31, 2013
Written by Diane Chiasson
Ethnic flavours, healthier options, smaller portions, flavours from spices and transparency top the trends for 2013

This year’s food trends are all about healthy eating. Vegetables, smaller portions, flavour derived from spices instead of fat and more transparent ingredients pave the way. For bakeries, expect to see more choices available for different lifestyles and diets, more baked goods from different parts of the world, more natural foods, and the use of more natural sweeteners.

In terms of marketing, expect to see bakeries relying more on their customers to help spread the word via social media, as well as growing use of QR codes.

Here are a few new trends that we can expect to see in bakeries this year:

1. Gluten-free products
Gluten-free eating is growing in popularity, as more and more people are becoming gluten-free as a lifestyle choice, not because of a gluten allergy. Since most items for sale in a bakery tend to be products made of wheat flour, it is important to develop and market a vast line of gluten-free products including bread, pastries and desserts. However, ensure that an area of your bakery is dedicated solely to gluten-free products to avoid cross-contamination.

2. Incorporate veggies
Vegetables will be making a huge splash in 2013, from locally grown goods to exotic imports. Try to incorporate as many vegetables, especially those from the superfoods group, such as kale, beets, swiss chard, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and other cruciferous choices into your baked goods as possible. Consider selling swiss chard and cheese croissants, breads mixed with kale or made with beet juice, cakes and cupcakes made from zucchini . . . the possibilities are endless.

3. Transparent ingredients
People are becoming more and more conscious of what they put into their bodies, so it will be important for bakeries to show exactly what ingredients they are putting into their food. Research shows that nearly 60 per cent of people will read the ingredients label before making the decision to purchase, so it will be important to have “clean” labels with a short list of pure, simple and all-natural ingredients.

4. Natural sweeteners
As growing concerns over the use of white sugar continue, there will be a greater shift towards the use of natural sweeteners such as honey and agave, especially in breads made from whole grains. For cakes, pastries and desserts, expect to see more use of such products as stevia or xylitol. Bakers can also experiment with other natural sweeteners such as maple, date, coconut or palm sugar, maple or brown rice syrup, and sorghum molasses. The use of such fruits as banana purée and raisins will also help enhance the sweetness of baked goods.

5. Ethnic flavours
Expect to see a larger variety of baked goods from different ethnicities, or infusions of ethnic flavours into baked goods this year, especially for savoury items. As consumers become worldlier, they are demanding bolder and more exotic flavours in their foods. Bold flavours from Southeast Asia and the Middle East should dominate this year.

6. Social media
Bakeries have a great advantage in the social media age, and with the growing popularity of photo-sharing sites such as Pinterest and Instagram, now is the time to capitalize on showing off products to the world. Expect to see more and more bakeries engage in social media, as well as see an increase in business simply from customers sharing their own photos.

7. QR codes
The popularity of QR codes will continue to increase this year. Expect to see more bakeries adding to their products QR codes that contain additional information about the product, recipes or even coupons. It is a fun and inexpensive way to add value to products.


Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping restaurant, foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for more than 30 years. Her company provides innovative and revenue-increasing foodservice and retail merchandising programs, interior design, branding, menu engineering, marketing and promotional campaigns, and much more. Contact her at 416-926-1338, toll-free at 1-888-926-6655, e-mail her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or visit www.chiassonconsultants.com

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