Americans embracing global premium bakery

27 May 2011 (27/05/2011) discussed a new report  titled "Baked Goods: Culinary Trend Mapping Report", that showed convenience, global flavors, and premium products are leading new trends in the bakery sector. The new report from the Center for Culinary Development (CCD) and market research organization Packaged Facts found that even with the current recession baked goods innovation and consumption has continued to rise.

CEO of CCD Kimberly Egan said: “Despite economic challenges, baked good sales have grown in the last few years. Consumers continue to connect with affordable baked goodness for the comfort it delivers, a comfort experience that now comes in many more varieties, shapes and sizes to meet everyone's needs."

One of the major trends was the rapidly expanding gluten-free bakery sector. This is thought to be driven by more than just the estimated 1 in 133 Americans with celiac disease as people with other illnesses trial giving up wheat as well.

Another trend identified was the comeback of pretzels, as they are increasingly taking on a handcrafted, specialty twist. In the American market pretzels are appearing everywhere from fine dining restaurants and swanky bars to specialty shops. Its form is also being varied as a bar snack, sandwich roll, crusting agent and ingredients in sweets.

Alongside the traditional American popover, French gougères pastry puffs and artisan patisserie products from around the world are also becoming more popular, as Americans are experimenting with more global foods and flavors. An example of this is the South American alfajore, a sweet sandwich cookie with a caramel filling, appealing to Americans looking for an exotic slant on the familiar, according to CCD.

The report is based on trend mapping, which it says is guided by the premise that new flavor trends often go through five distinct phases on their way to becoming mainstream.New trends tend to emerge at upmarket dining establishments, passing into specialist consumer food magazines and television programs, before being picked up by mainstream chain restaurants, then begin to appear in family-oriented consumer magazines, and finally appear in grocery stores and/or quick service restaurants.