The wide variety of flavourings available to the bakery market today help to infuse baked goods with richness and more. Editor Caitlin Gittins investigates
Vanilla-flavoured buttercream, strawberry-flavoured sponge cake, almond-flavoured pastry. Whatever your vice, flavourings in the bakery industry enable bakers to infuse their creations with rich tastes and aromas that maximise the sensory experience. Nostalgic, classic flavours continue to have hold over consumers while others seek out new and exciting sensory experiences, providing a whole host of opportunities. Bakers are looking for price-competitive ingredients that deliver on quality and allow them to capitalise on new and emerging trends to meet these demands in the market.
Changing consumer preferences
On searching the bakery industry for the flavours they think will prevail as we roll into 2024, I gained a number of insights from different companies. Consumer preference for flavours in bakery continues to change and evolve, as we know. Identifying trends for bakers to capitalise on can be hugely helpful.
“While chocolate and vanilla continue to dominate bakery launches, global flavours continue to trickle into the bakery space as consumers look for ways to travel through food,” explained Natalie Sheil, European Category Manager, Synergy Flavours. “The growing popularity of panettone at Christmas time is a great example and we are also seeing profiles like Sicilian lemon, blood orange and pistachio appear more in bakery launches.”
Fast-growing flavours according to the I.T.S. Bakery Flavours 2023 trends report include pear, which has registered 57% growth – featuring in formats such as up-market pastries and fancy biscuits – caramel biscuit with 52% thanks to the popularity of Lotus biscuits in the pandemic, gingerbread, churro, birthday cake and honeycomb also made the list.
“We anticipate a fusion of nostalgia and sophistication in 2024, transforming childhood favourites like school tray bakes, trifles and traditional puddings into decadent desserts,” commented Helen Burrett, Marketing Manager at JPL Flavours. “Black Forest flavoured products increased in 2023* and we expect this demand for cherries in particular to develop in 2024. The flavour profile of Summer Berries in particular fits well with consumer demand for new products each season.”
Helen stressed: “Considering the popularity of miniature cake formats and small treats in the bakery sector, the final products really need to pack a punch in terms of flavour delivery.”
The next big trends for flavourings in the bakery market are anticipated to be “exciting new variations on firm favourites,” according to Michael Schofield, Marketing Manager at the Bakels Group. These familiar and comforting tastes remain popular, which can spur creativity in both high street bakers and ingredient suppliers to ensure their customers keep coming back for more.
“Caramel is the taste of now, jumping to third place behind milk chocolate and strawberry in Innova’s ranking of seasonal and limited-edition flavour,” explained Michael. “Caramel is the taste one in three consumers choose when they seek comfort and can elevate any sweet treat. It’s also incredibly versatile – adaptable to new flavours…
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