The bakery business is one of the most lucrative businesses in the F&B industry. An increase in disposable income, greater participation of women in the workforce and acceptance of western food culture have all led to the growth of the bakery business in India.
As per the latest data, the Indian bakery industry is worth USD 7.60 billion and expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.5% to reach a value of USD 12.39 billion by 2026.
There are some noticeable changes in the latest bakery trends as consumers become ingredient-conscious and switch to healthy eating. The factors like pandemic have only accelerated the demand for healthy bakery options. One can already observe the visible changes in the bread section of a store’s food rack. You can find an equal number of whole wheat and multigrain bread options along with the refined flour one.
Businesses need to be updated with the latest bakery trends to be relevant in the dynamic demand environment.
Meat Alternative Options
Due to growing awareness about the benefits of being vegan and animal welfare, there is an increasing trend towards adopting meat alternative food ingredients. Customers who want to enjoy their food but not at the cost of animal cruelty readily embrace plant-based meat options. Plant-based meat is a meat alternative made from plant extract, which has health benefits like lower calories, bad fats, and increased immunity. Dairy alternatives have also gained market share in India and are set to grow in demand in the coming years. According to the Good food institute, approximately 63% of Indians will be transitioning to plant-based meat options in the coming years
The Indian population is genetically vulnerable to cardiovascular disease. Heart disease has become pandemic due to lack of exercise, consumption of food rich in fats and day to day stress. The increasing spate of heart attacks has made people more aware of the food they are eating. There is an aversion towards products made of unhealthy refined flours and a growing demand for whole-grain products. Fresh bakery products low in trans fats and cholesterol are sought after, with customers even willing to pay extra for the same.
Locally Sourced Food Products
If bakeries have to popularize healthy food options, they have to be affordable also. Even though there has been an increasing fad for foreign food products and ingredients, these are often expensive. The supply chain aggravated by the pandemic has made these types of food products difficult to procure. These challenges have made bakery owners look into locally procured healthy food ingredients like millets which have been part of the Indian diet from time immemorial. Compared to wheat, mostly used in bakery products, millets are high in fibre and control blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Procuring locally produced food ingredients from farmers and local businesses helps generate employment and positively impacts society.
Diet Food Trends
Healthy food trends like gluten-free food and keto diets have found takers in the Indian market. Over the years, there has been an increase in people who have health issues with gluten, a protein found mainly in wheat. As wheat is the main ingredient in most bakery items, gluten-free bakery products are primarily produced from healthy alternatives like oats flour.
The Keto diet is one of the most popular ways of shedding those extra pounds. A person adopting a keto diet is expected to have low carbohydrate and high fibre food. Experts claim keto diets can promote fat loss and help in controlling type 2 diabetes. The Keto diet works on the principle of replacing carbs with fats. Many bakery businesses have started making keto cakes containing special ingredients high on fats and low on carbs.
Sugar-Free Baked Items
Irrespective of whether a person is healthy or sick, clients are keen on cutting down on the use of white sugar from their diet. Sugar-free bakeries use natural sweeteners like fruits or natural sweeteners rather than sugar. Sugar-free bakery items are preferred by people who have diabetes or are very health conscious and don’t want to put on extra weight.
Increasing education and access to information have made customers more aware of their health and sensitive about the environment and surroundings. The above mentioned latest food trends, which seem to be a fad, may be adopted by the wider population. The bakery business has to adapt to these food trends as demand for these food products will surge.