Food In Canada


New generation of snacks is cutting into bake sector

A SWOT analysis of the baking industry provides some insightful data on the category

Aventura, Fla. – A new generation of snacks, often from other categories, is crowding into the baked goods sector. reports that products from energy bars to dried seaweed are popping up in place of traditional baked goods. The issue was a topic at the American Bakers Association annual meeting.

Food trend analysts at the annual meeting presented the results of their SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis at a panel discussion.

The analysts, reports, say they identified several examples, such as cereal, fruit, nuts and cheese, that threaten baking.

Another threat or area of concern for baking is the fact that consumers are paying more attention to bioengineered organisms and front-of-label claims (such as gluten-free).

Also, the baking industry needs to pay attention to the growing popularity of foods even more convenient than baked goods. And the perception consumers have of artisanal baked foods versus packaged baked foods. The industry also needs to stay on top of innovation, reports

But the industry also has several strengths.

For one thing, in the U.S. the category sits at US$40 billion. It also offers products at every price point, making it accessible to all consumers. Baking also offers diversity.

Many baked goods are also “comfort foods,” which offers consumers an emotional connection other categories don’t have. Also, whole grains products are gaining in popularity, as is bakery fiber and artisan bread. The analysts also mention that baked foods complement the grazing and small meal trend, reports

Other points from the discussion include:

• baked goods sales are growing in value channels such as dollar stores and some products are falling in large channels such as supermarkets

• consumers are still concerned about carbohydrates

• consumers don’t perceive packaged bread as fresh

• older consumers may need smaller packaged goods with more added fibre

• the organic category is an opportunity

• the nutritional profile of products offers opportunities

• ancient grains and quinoa, and increased protein present opportunities