Eight essential trends in the cake market

Freshness - Blueberry muffins

A successful bakery needs to follow the movements on the market, adapt to challenges and understand  consumer expectations. Let us share eight essential trends in the bakery market! 

1. Convenience

The consumer lives busier lives and eat more out of their homes. We can see a growing popularity in to-go cake products – baked off or made at the convenience of the consumer. This movement requires easy-to-handle cakes, not to fragile and always with a newly baked feeling. A delicious cake will never be far away!

2. Cake hybrids

Experimentation has become a key driver in the bakery market and a way to rise interest with younger consumers in particular, according to a Mintel trend report for 2016 (1). One way in which brands are experimenting is through hybrids. According to research, more cake buyers say they are interested in new formats of cakes. Two examples are duffins – a hybrid of a doughnut and a muffin, and combined croissant-doughnuts.

3. Environment and sustainability

Awareness of environmental and social-economic issues in regard to food production in general keeps on growing and legislation is enforced. The consumer ask for organic baking, low carbon products and fair-trade. Sustainability is becoming a main track across the baking industry and we are most likely to see even more products that allow increased responsible and environmental friendly consumption.

4. Freshness is booming

The consumer always expect pure freshness whatever occasion or time. We even dare to say that freshness of baked products come before taste. It’s valued on softness and moistness and has become a standard of baking quality. Freshness is simply a nonnegotiable condition for satisfied and repeat customers.

5. Retro-inspired treats

Lots of brands are going retro in terms of bake appearance, packaging and marketing. We will see even more modern versions of vintage treats, such as a classic cake with a new flavour, colour or shape. Or a traditional pastry turned into a luxury bake. Creating new and unexpected approaches for classic cakes will tempt consumers to forget about their healthy living and just enjoy.

6. Health vs indulgence

The consumer is more health conscious than ever and we will keep on seeing an increased demand for affordable healthier baking. The consumer ask for reduction of sugar, salt and fat, while looking for more nutrition in form of for example beans and seeds that are rich in protein. However, the consumer will always keep on seeking the indulgence in sweet cakes, but with a greater awareness of the ingredients used in the recipe.

7. Quality matters even more

Quality is a key driver in decision making for consumers. Quality comes first and more consumers are willing to pay more if they can understand and see the quality in the baked goods. It is also becoming more acceptable that convenient solutions can come at a premium. The challenge for the cake industry is to produce really fine quality to an affordable price.

8. Natural

Today more than ever before, consumers want to know what’s in their cake, how it’s made and where it comes from. The trend clearly goes towards natural ingredients coming straight from nature. The consumer cares for the ingredients list and as few ingredients as possible has become a rule. The consumer seeks simplicity and natural cake products from brands they trust.

(1) Mintel: Key trends set to transform the global bakery market in 2016