Owing to their affordability and savory tastes and textures, baked goods have become massively popular throughout the globe. In many areas of the world, bakery products comprise an essential constituent of the human diet. New industrial automation solutions have enabled the development of optimally functional bakery processes that allow consumers to enjoy healthier, tastier breads, cakes, and snack items that fulfill their nutritional requirements.
The same technologies also prolong the shelf life of baked goods by focusing on microbial degradation, or mold degradation, while preserving quality and flavor through staling process retardation and other highly effective preservation techniques. This trend in fortifying bakery products only continues, as it’s in high demand across the four primary segments of the retail industry.
On the wholesale industrial bakery side, these businesses are largely focused on producing cakes, breads, and snacking products such as crackers and cookies at scale. The emphasis here, in recent years, has been on meeting the requirements of consumers who demand lighter, healthier products. Since baked goods have become known for celebrating almost any moment or occasion, the market for baked goods only continues to climb, and the prospects for future industrial growth are equally promising.
Over the last decade, traditional bakeries have started offering their products for sale online in increasing numbers, attracting more potential customers, only contributing to further growth in this segment of the food industry. Online storefronts have also allowed for easier customization of cakes, doughnuts, pizza rolls, and more. Perhaps the primary aspect of baked foods that makes them so popular is that can be eaten anywhere, at any time of day.
Since custom baked goods have taken off so dramatically, let’s take a look at a few top industry trends that have continued to drive their marketability in recent years.
1. Multigrain and whole grain breads
Recent health science has shed some important light on the adverse effects of refined food products such as white rice, commercial breakfast cereals, and countless other products based on white flour. While whole grains are still relatively high in carbohydrates and sugar, most lack the fructose content discoverable in many industrially produced white breads. Fructose levels in white breads can run anywhere between 2 and 4 percent.
Whole grain baked goods contain every part of the grain kernel, including bran, germ, and endosperm, leaving them with the considerably higher nutrition content currently in demand among bread consumers. Compared with industrially refined white breads, consumption of multigrain and whole grain baked goods carries a lower risk of instigating common health issues such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
2. Gluten-free snacks and breads
Celiac disease has become more common, and gluten poses the potential to trigger an autoimmune response and other unpleasant symptoms in some bread lovers. Even those who don’t technically suffer from celiac disease can feel ill after consuming baked goods high in gluten.
Since flour forms the main ingredients in biscuits, cakes, breads, and bakery snacks is flour, gluten network-forming proteins constitute a common barrier for consumers who suffer from gluten sensitivities. While gluten is a main source of bread dough’s elasticity, its complex chemical structure may trigger allergies in some people.
The global market for gluten-free bakery goods is expected to expand considerably over the years. Gluten-free pastas, brownies, biscuits, and doughnuts have caught on significantly over the last several years, and the trend is expected to continue through the coming decade.
3. Clean labeling
Irrespective of the size and type of bakery business you operate, clear and precise labeling is more important to consumers of baked goods than ever. Clean labeling is a crucial marketing and distribution function that’s often overlooked. This can be detrimental to business growth objectives since the demand for easy-to-read labels is high.
Bakeries that aim to stand out from their competition will benefit from implementing clear labeling policies that illustrate their products are both hygienic and nutritional. Multiple consumer surveys show that bakery customers place a keen focus on packaging and labeling.
4. Non-partially hydrogenated shortenings and oils
As of 2018, new Food and Drug Administration regulations have recently commanded bakeries to reformulate their products to exclude the use of Non-Partially Hydrogenated (PHOs). Businesses have since abandoned PHO shortenings in favor of soy or palm-based shortenings that have been more effective than non-partially hydrogenated shortenings and oils.
5. Environmentally conscious packaging
Simply presented, eco-friendly packaging is one of the latest trends and innovations in the bakery sector. Various industrial automation solutions can help simplify the packing and distribution process while making it easier to customize environmentally safe boxes and containers.
Bakeries have made significant strides in this area in recent years by eliminating harmful chemicals commonly found in plastic wrapping and boxes. Several recent studies show that customers prefer a more personalized approach to packaging that is safe, visually appealing, and environmentally friendly.
6. Fondant icing
Fondant icing is the sugar paste or frosting covering a cake’s exterior. It can be rolled out and applied to cakes as a wrap or sculpted directly onto the product. It gives a smooth and silky texture to baked goods. While fondants usually consist of a mix of sugar, glucose, and gelatin, the use of organic, plant-based confectionaries made of organic coconut milk among other ingredients is on the rise.
Consumers prefer cakes that aren’t just savory and delicious, they want their presentation to be equally stunning. Fondant differs from regular icing and is one of the most critical elements you’ll discover at events such as weddings and bat mitzvahs. Automation technologies offer versatile tools for making advanced and consistent product designs, no matter how skilled you are.
Wondering where to find industrial automation companies near me?
EZSoft is an industry-leading industrial automation solution provider for food and beverage manufacturers and the pharmacological process industries. As a full-service integrator of process controls systems, we help companies like yours engineer the software controls that provide precise ingredients mixing and consistent food processing.
For more on how our strategies and automation solutions can meet the complex needs of your specialty bakery, reach out online now or call us at (484) 568-5040.