The pandemic has affected all levels of our life, among them our diet and our consumption preferences, reinforcing products related to health and well-being. This is certified by the Taste Tomorrow study of bakery, pastry, and chocolate consumption trends, prepared by Puratos in a special post-confinement wave.
The report, which was carried out in 13 countries, has shown that consumers consider that food can be a complement to preserve health in times of health crisis. Therefore, hygiene is now a decisive purchase criterion and the risk of contamination, especially for un-packed items, is one of the main concerns for users. Although it is not the only purchase requirement; taste, freshness, and price are also relevant factors.
Regarding the type of products, worldwide, the crisis is expected to strengthen interest in healthy, affordable, local, sustainable, indulgent, fresh, and packed products. Of course, certain differences are detected depending on the country. Thus, for example, the interest for local, sustainable, and affordable baked goods is the highest in China and Malaysia; and the interest for indulgent products is the highest in Poland and the lowest in Greece.
If we talk about a healthy diet, in the TOP3 are breads rich in fiber, breads with more grains, and cakes with less sugar. Of course, with some variations depending on the territory: breads high in proteins are attractive in the USA (# 3) and Malaysia (# 3 with 44%), sourdough is considered as a healthy option by 37% of Spanish & Italian consumers, gluten free breads are attractive for 8% to 23% (Malaysia) of consumers, vegan cakes are attractive to 5% to 19% (China) of consumers, and fruits (& nuts) are attractive for 26% + of consumers globally.
Regarding the channels, it is expected that artisan shops and online shopping will benefit from the crisis since many consumers, except in the United States, do not trust unpacked breads & cakes in supermarkets because other shoppers can touch and possibly contaminate products. However, they perceive artisan stores as better in terms of hygiene and food safety.
Another trend to highlight is that of Home Baking. Between 55% and 82% of consumers baked at home during confinement, and most say they will continue to do so in the post-coronavirus era. The main reasons for this trend are greater control of ingredients and hygiene, saving money, having a great time with the family, or simply a love of cooking.