Baked goods innovation

The anticipated resurgence of the bakery industry across EMEA over the next five years will be driven primarily by product innovation – often inspired by developments originally pioneered in the US – according to inclusions manufacturer Pecan Deluxe Candy (Europe) Ltd.

Product innovation is not always heralded by a high profile promotional campaign or press conference. Pecan Deluxe Europe’s managing director, Graham Kingston, explains: “Although EMEA leads the way in many sectors, there are some industries – such as baked goods – in which we see trends from the US sneaking in below the radar and having a real impact in Europe a year or two down the line. A perfect example is how Pecan Deluxe pioneered cookie dough ice cream in the US and, soon enough, that was the latest consumer revolution on this continent.

“Red velvet sponge has recently followed suit. Practically unheard of a couple of years ago, now branded and own brand red velvet cakes are readily available on supermarket and high street retailer shelves. Plus, of course, there are red velvet cake pieces supplied by Pecan Deluxe for use in ice cream and cheesecakes and more. There is massive potential in the market for exciting new flavours and taste sensations that consumers will relish and ultimately become loyal to.”

Such new experiences include cookie dough baked within muffins – another successful marriage of bakery genres – and the emergence of US s’more innovations based on chocolate, marshmallow, crackers and a fertile imagination. Not to mention the evolution of cronuts (croissant/doughnut hybrid), the yumdough (yum-yum/doughnut), crogel (croissant/bagel) and duffins (doughnut/muffin cross), all coming soon to a bakery near you if not already there.

Historically, the shorter shelf life of baked goods and confectionery has led to more localised production and supply. However, ingredient innovation to extend shelf life, plus the growth of pre-frozen ready bake lines has led to more recent geographical extension by manufacturers. Nevertheless, in order to ensure product consistency, bakeries should ensure supply partners can easily meet demand for ingredients no matter where the customer facility is based.

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