Puratos reveals latest global Taste Tomorrow confectionery and bakery trends

Global ingredients firm Puratos has unveiled its latest Taste Tomorrow series of top trends forecast to impact chocolate and bakery markets, with consumers indicating classic lines with a new twist, as well as flour and grain alternatives identified as key focuses, reports Neill Barston.

As the Belgian-headquartered company’s findings revealed, consumers desire for re-imagined nostalgic product ranges, and the present megatrend for healthier option series, including within confectionery segments, are proving notably prevalent.

Its studies, which are primarily based on surveys of over 20,000 consumers across 50 countries and interviews with industry experts, also used AI resources to hone in on shifts in consumer behaviour, designed to predict future development of shopper preferences in varying markets around the world.

From attending recent core sector events including ISM, ProSweets, Interpack and Sweets & Snacks Expo, Confectionery Production has previously noted the continued demand for better-for-you product ranges, which have continued a growth trajectory, despite wider challenges within supply chains that have impacted on ingredients and wider product costs within the past year.

Sophie Blum, Chief Marketing Officer for the company, believed its latest research proved particularly revealing. She said: “By examining millions of food-related online media articles, search requests and social media posts, Taste Tomorrow’s state-of-the-art Semantic AI technology provides a unique and always-on lens into the trends shaping the bakery, patisserie and chocolate industries – and offers a taste of what’s to come.”

As she added, the research into fast-evolving markets around the world is designed to help enable its customers to keep ahead of the game in terms of emerging trends and innovations across the industry. The company’s top five trends included:

1. Flour and grain alternatives | 23% rise
Alternatives is the buzzword in bakery. More consumers are switching to, or experimenting with gluten-free, low-carb, or wheat-free diets and choosing different grains and seeds. This is largely due to their perceived health benefits, from aiding weight loss and digestion to anti-inflammatory and glycemic properties. Taste Tomorrow indicates this will be a trend to watch, with interest set to grow 23% by the end of the year.

2. Classics continued | 22% rise
Taste Tomorrow’s research reveals a significant surge in the already enormous consumer trend of ‘Classics Continued’, but with a twist. Creative additions, hybrids and upgrades like inclusions or multi-dimensional flavour profiles are in high demand. Timeless, but reinvigorated bakery, patisserie, and chocolate have exceeded many industry expectations with 22% growth predicted by the end of the year. Driven by emotional connections to the past and a desire for quality and excitement, consumers are leaning towards nostalgic treats that provide comfort while also satisfying curiosity.

3. Sweet spot | 18% rise
While many people want to prioritise health, they don’t want to compromise moments of indulgence. Taste Tomorrow data shows many still have a sweet tooth, so treats containing less, little or no sugar can satisfy their cravings if these products still tick taste and texture boxes. Seeing a sugar-free, reduced sugar or natural sugar alternatives label can destigmatise indulgent foods, such as chocolate, so that consumers feel less guilt when consuming them.

4. Upcycled food | 18% rise
The upcycled food trend refers to the practice of using by-products or ingredients that would typically be considered waste and turning them into new food products. This practice not only reduces food waste and its impact on the environment but also provides an opportunity for manufacturers to create innovative and cost-effective products. With the rising concern about climate change and the increasing cost of groceries, consumers are actively seeking out sustainable and affordable options, making upcycled food a highly attractive trend for manufacturers. The Taste Tomorrow research predicts an 18% growth rate in this trend by the end of this year, highlighting its potential impact on the food industry.

5. Immunity boosting | 15% rise
Today, people expect their food to go beyond basic nutrition and even provide preventative health benefits, particularly immunity. Until now, immune health has largely been the territory of supplement manufacturers and the dairy industry, which has successfully introduced prebiotic ingredients that influence gut health and thereby offer immune health benefits. However, with consumer interest so high (+15% this year), offering immunity benefits in more convenient food staples such as bread marks a clear opportunity for the industry.


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