Exploring Four Bakery Ingredient Trends

4 croissants cooling off

Utilizing clean label ingredients in bakery to meet consumer demand

KerryDigest Fast Facts:
  • To create consumer-preferred products, bakery brands can marry consumer trends with tradition.
  • Clean label bakery products such bread that’s free from artificial flavours and no-no ingredients are in demand.
  • Products that use premium bakery ingredients such and functional and nutritional ingredients are also trending.
  • Taste, quality and authenticity are still valued across the category, but there’s still room for unique colors and unusual flavors. 

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KerryDigest Full Scoop:

As consumers become more aware of what they put in their bodies, they’re demanding premium products with recognizable ingredients. Clean label bakery products are gaining prominence with bread leading the way and setting the course for today’s bakery ingredient trends.

According to Kerry’s Beyond the Label clean label report, 65% of consumers believe clean label is important for baked bread and 73% of U.S. consumers who eat bread agree it’s worth paying extra for better quality bread. It’s clear that within the bakery market, clean label and premiumization are both key purchase drivers, and areas in which bakery brands can differentiate their products. Clean label and premiumization doesn’t stop at bread–all bakery categories can benefit.

Here are four ways bakery brands can act on the trends of clean label and premiumization to deliver bread and bakery products that stand out from competitors on the shelf.


Remove “no-no” ingredients
There has been a shift in consumer shopping habits–74% of consumers frequently read the product label when purchasing food and beverages, according to Kerry’s Future of Food clean label research. In the bakery category, consumers are looking for wholesome and recognizable ingredients. This means removing top “no-no” ingredients such as artificial flavors and colors, high fructose corn syrup and mono- and diglycerides from bakery products.

Consumers are also interested in the removal of some traditional ingredients which may be used to extend shelf life. The need for these types of ingredients can be removed by using naturally derived extracts and products of fermentation and enzymes. These consumer-friendly solutions in optimize taste, texture, freshness and shelf life in bakery products. Many are certified non-GMO and gluten-free and are suitable for use in organic products.


Add nutritional content and functional ingredients
Consumers are also scanning the nutritional content of bakery products, looking for reduced amounts of ingredients including sugar and the inclusion of healthier ingredients such as whole grains and plant proteins.

In our clean label research, we found consumers continue to seek out recognizable ingredients such as honey and oat fiber in baked breads. Recognition of ingredients like yeast, honey and wheat bran drove consumer preference.

Fortification and the addition of nutrients especially appeal to Millennials: 27% of 25- to 34-year-olds who consume baked goods in the U.S. say added nutrients are important when choosing in-store bakery products, according to a recent Mintel survey. Organic claims, functional ingredients and positive brand messaging also resonate with consumers seeking clean label products.

Offer indulgent taste and appearance
Despite the consumer shift to healthier, wholesome ingredients in baked bread, items such as pastries and cakes are experiencing an increase in product launches that cater to indulgent taste experiences and appearances. Bakery brands are playing on nostalgia, appealing to consumers as they turn to treats from their childhood. Consumers are also seeking sensorial and visually vibrant ingredients in baked goods, such as sprinkles, ruby chocolate and matcha, as found in Kerry’s 2020 US Taste Charts.

Fine bakery consumers are hungry for flavor innovation. One way to make more appealing premium products is through the use of rich flavors and flavors from international cuisines. Crafting visually-appealing products with unusual colors and unique ingredients is another way to excite Instagram-savvy consumers.


Create authentic experiences and better quality
In bread, premiumization ties back to fresh-from-the-oven authenticity and quality. Consumers want back-to-basics breads such sourdough and other artisanal type products. According to Datassential, sourdough—which consumers view as being artisanal or hand-crafted—has experienced an 11% growth in menu mentions over the last four years.

High quality bread products such as brioche also create a premium eating experiences for consumers. Brioche is the fastest-growing bread type in foodservice, with a 44% growth rate over the last four years, says Datassential. Among consumers interested in premium or artisan breads, 85% would be willing to pay more, according to Mintel.

Consumers are also looking for bakery products with shine and color, which traditionally comes from egg wash. Kerry’s clean label ready-to-use bakery glaze is simple and consistent to use while eliminating the allergen issues from using traditional egg wash. With an egg-free and dairy-free solution, brands get an alternative to typical egg wash, while consumers get a clean label.

Kerry’s bakery portfolio is in a prime position to deliver on the clean label and premiumization trends that are driving the bakery market. To learn more about our bakery solutions and consumer insights, contact us.

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