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Trend Watch: Baking at Home

Our family has a strong tradition of baking for special occasions like birthdays and holidays. We also bake just for fun sometimes, when an intriguing new brownie or cake mix catches our attention at the grocery store.

Overall we might be a nation in search of better health, but in general, consumers find comfort in baking at home. According to Mintel, on a global basis, baking ingredients and mixes are the third most active sub-category in bakery in its new products database. And North America records the highest level of new products introduced for baking ingredients and mixes, including chilled dough and varieties.

Consumers say they’re pressed for time but would like to bake and cook more. In population segments of particular interest to marketers, 40 percent of 25-34 year olds in the U.S. say they are baking more now than they did in the past. Overall 22 percent of American consumers who own bakeware say they are baking more now than a year ago.

But what are they looking for? They want convenience coupled with mixes and ingredients that feature natural claims. Overall, baking mixes are overshadowed by the perception they are too processed.

The report states that baking ingredients and mixes likely “will benefit from a continued increase in natural sourcing.” In addition, baking ingredients and mixes, it says, “could appeal to healthy eaters looking to increase their protein intake in a subtle manner.” This is particularly true for the North American market, with 63 percent of American consumers looking for more protein when purchasing foods they consider ‘healthy.’ New products in the baking mix category introduced within the last year for example feature pancake mixes that promote higher than average protein content.

In addition to convenience, single portion or single serve baking mixes appear popular. Mixed and baked in a mug or cup, the consumer need simply add water or an egg and microwave for an instant gratification, indulgent treat. Mixes with original herbal or floral notes also appear popular, appealing to the consumer quest for variety yet a nod to natural elements.

According to Mintel, there has been a push towards more natural sourcing in the last year, with 32 percent of launches in North America featuring at least one natural claim, up from 22 percent in 2015. Analysts recommend companies promote products as less processed and featuring more raw ingredients, while keeping convenience in mind.

2017-05-08 09:10:29