Bakery Trends: Better for Us All

Consumers are more nutritionally savvy than ever and are becoming increasingly demanding about the ingredients in their food.
smart tart
Smart Tarts are toaster pastries with all natural and functional ingredients.

 Today’s consumers are looking for food that meets 4 requirements:  good taste, clean label, better-for-you ingredients and products that are beneficial for the planet.

This trend is especially true for bakery where we see the following trends taking place:

Cleaning up the Classics

When it comes to bakery, consumers look for products that are fresh and natural. 

Eliminating additives, GMO’s, reducing sugar and creating products that are less processed appeal to this need. 

Panera is a perfect example of this bakery trend. With their “Clean Journey” and “no-no” list they have eliminated food without artificial preservatives, sweeteners, flavors, and colors therefore focusing on creating an “all clean menu.”

 Many brands have “cleaned up” classic bakery treats focusing on more natural positioning.

petites treats
Hostess Bakery Petites have a cleaner ingredient profile described as using real strawberries, no artificial flavors or colorings, and no high fructose corn syrup.
wholegrain cookies
Sources: Farm & Oven & Tate’s Cookies
Left: Farm and Oven Bakery Bites Beet Dark Chocolate. The bites contain 40% of your daily veggies.
Right: Tate’s Whole Wheat Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Adding Better-for-You Ingredients

One way brands and artisans can increase the consumption of bakery products is to make them better for us

By improving the health appeal of baked goods they expand the occasions in which consumers might choose to eat a bakery product. 

In cookies, we see the addition of protein, or whole grains, allowing cookies to become a more permissible snack.

We even see vegetables emerging in baked goods as well.


Emergence of Vegan & Allergen Free Options

When presented with the statement, “Vegan cakes or pastries containing chocolate is something I seek out to purchase.” 

24% of all North American consumers agreed, while 37% of Millennials agreed!

In addition to seeing more and more vegan options, products free of common allergens are emerging in bakery products everywhere.

vegan brownie
Source: Swirlz Cupcakes, Chicago
Swirlz cupcakes in Chicago, Il offers cupcakes that are gluten free and vegan gluten free.
Cookies & bites
Sources: 34 degrees & Miss Jones Baking Co
Left: Chocolate Sweet Crisps from 34 degrees are described as “sweet like a cookie, crisp like a cracker”
Right: Miss Jones Baking Co. Warm Double Chocolate Cake in a Cup.

Smaller Portion Sizes Provide Less Guilt

Whether cookie thins, cookie crisps or mini cupcakes we see mini versions of our favorite treats. 

These more petite options allow the consumer a taste of indulgence with less guilt.

They also allow for a quick, “poppable” snack.  We also notice single serve options abound from a piece of cake transformed into a parfait-cup-to-go, or microwaveable mug cakes for the busy, on-the-go consumer.



1.  Barry Callebaut Benefit Territory Substantiation Research Fall 2018