Packaged bread is typically boring and lifeless but clever labeling and flavor innovation should reinvigorate the category, says a Mintel analyst.
Speaking to BakeryandSnacks.com at Vitafoods Europe 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland, Mintel’s global food science analyst Laura Jones said the packaged bread sector had seen a shift in labeling trends.
“We’ve seen the focus shift somewhat from no additives and preservatives claims to a more tailored message. So we’re seeing claims such as ‘suitable for’ products; they are products more suited to consumer needs like gluten-free, vegetarian. They’re becoming more popular with consumers as they look to products that are more tailored to their dietary needs,” she said.
However, she warned that bakers needed to be careful not to forget to call out negative claims like ‘no additives’ or ‘no preservatives’ because many consumers still sought these out.
Just under half of UK bread consumers looked for bread that didn’t contain additives or preservatives, she said, and over half would be prepared to pay more for these products.
“Do focus on the positives it’s really important, but still communicating to consumers that products don’t have additives or preservatives is still really important,” she said.
In terms of driving the sector forward, Jones said manufacturers should innovate with flavor – drawing inspiration from the fresh and artisanal sector.
“Typically bread products are quite boring in a way, it’s kind of just your standard range of products, but there’s no reason they can’t include more exciting flavor combinations.”
She said cronuts and duffins were great examples of this, and examples that could be brought into the packaged bakery sector.