The challenge for the bakery industry is to find new ways to reach out to consumers. Many of the big brands are already taking the first steps. Their strategy is to appeal to the one thing that concerns Western consumers most – their health.
Sprouted wheat grains are enjoying a revival as a trendy and nutritious alternative to refined wheat flour. According to the Whole Grains Council, sprouted grains are even healthier than whole grains, which for years have been promoted as a prime source of fibre and other nutrients.
Bread prices have come under huge pressure in European markets where discount supermarket chains have revolutionised the retail grocery landscape in recent times. Along with the free-falling bread consumption that some markets face, this has created serious issues for industrial bakers.
Sometimes the inspiration for new bakery concepts comes when you least expect it – and least of all when attending a university seminar on brewing beer. Nevertheless, it was a story about ancient Mesopotamian beer that inspired our concept for a nutritious breakfast biscuit called bappir.
Market data from Mintel shows that new tortilla and wrap products accounted for more than 25% of all new product launches in the bread segment in 2015 – a figure that reflects several years of continuous growth. Wraps are particularly popular among younger consumers and consumers on high incomes.
New opportunities are shaking up old perceptions of high-fibre wheat bread as a heavy, compact phenomenon that belongs to the niche health segment. Today it is possible to make nutritious 100% wholemeal bread that meets all the quality expectations of the mainstream market.