Despite a persistently sluggish economy, sales of bakery products in the United States have continued to swell during the past several years, according to a recent report co-published by Packaged Facts and the Center for Culinary Development (CCD).
The study, titled “Baked Goods: Culinary Trend Mapping Report,” attributed the industry’s continued expansion to seven sweet and savory baking trends, which the CCD profiled using its trend-mapping technique. While consumers have tightened spending, they continue to purchase baked products as an affordable and accessible indulgence.
Popovers, gougeres and handcrafted pretzels are among the savory baked products staging comebacks in restaurant breadbaskets, supermarket freezer aisles and at gourmet specialty shops. Another driver in new product development are alfajores, the Latin American sandwich cookies filled with dulce de leche, which are popping up in farmers’ markets and bakeries, the study noted.
Gluten-free baked products also have gone from niche market to mainstream as consumers look for new ways to improve wellness. Major brands and bakeries continue to expand available offerings–with everything from pizza to bread to donuts.
Moreover, as consumers look to recreate sophisticated baked products and desserts in their home kitchens, supermarkets and bakeries have answered with a wider range of unconventional formulas for baking mixes and specialty frozen desserts.