Emerging Trends in Center-Aisle Bread

By: Watson Team on Aug 27, 2019

This year’s International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) has over 100 sessions, international attendees, and even virtual reality tours of industrial bakeries around the world. Here’s a sneak preview of the emerging trends in center-aisle bread we expect to learn more about at IBIE.

1. Artisan

Six bowls filled with different flours and grains.

Artisan baking will be a special focus of IBIE this year. Through IBIE’s Artisan Marketplaces, attendees can learn about the art, science, and history of artisan baking through sessions, meetings, and the opportunity to create a personalized loaf of artisan bread. Artisan baking is characterized by traditional processing techniques that include slow fermentation, small-batch processing, and hand shaping, as well as the use of heirloom grains, such as Khorasan, spelt, and buckwheat.

The trend in artisan breads, which has contributed to the recent surge in supermarket bakery department sales, is likely to make inroads into the center-aisle bread category as consumer interest grows. This trend could be adapted to industrial baking through a focus on incorporating some flour made from heirloom grains into existing products or creating a line extension of sourdough breads, for example.

2. Global InfluenceWoman smiling while eating.

As the American population has grown more multicultural than ever before, there is a strong and increasing demand for foods from Latin American, East Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern, and African cuisines. For the bakery segment, this demand has expanded beyond traditional flatbreads like tortillas and naan.

Restaurant menus are popularizing a variety of lesser-known ethnic breads, such as Cuban bread, which is used to make traditional grilled Cuban sandwiches. The rise of ethnic sandwich breads, in particular, creates new opportunities for center-aisle bread manufacturers since existing processes can be used to create breads with these desired textures. Breads flavored with ethnic spices (such as turmeric, cumin, and curry) are another emerging trend that could find its way to center-aisle bread.

3. Keto-Friendly

The popularity of the keto diet has increased consumer awareness of the possible benefits of cutting back on non-fiber carbs. While only some keto advocates actually adhere to the strict carb to fat ratio requirements of the keto diet (and thus reach a state of ketosis), many more are making efforts to simply reduce their non-fiber carbs and increase their healthy fats in pursuit of weight loss, reduced cravings, and increased energy. 

These consumers may be much less likely to give up bread as a household staple and would be especially receptive to breads that support their diet choices. This could include breads with higher proportions of fiber or protein, reduced sugars, or additions of healthy fats, such as coconut oil or coconut-derived MCTs. Custom nutrient premixes can be used to add MCTs, as well as the specific nutrients in which keto dieters are at risk of deficiencies—potassium, magnesium, vitamin A, and vitamin C. 

What Comes Next?

Consumers’ desires for culinary adventure and better-for-you foods have made this an exciting time for the baking industry, creating a range of opportunities for new products that can meet this demand. Other up-and-coming trends predicted for the bread category include vegetable-based breads (especially with beet, carrot, or spinach) for a color and nutrient boost, breads with no added sugars, and breads made with prebiotic fiber.

At Watson, we make custom nutrient premixes that can help you create the better-for-you breads that consumers are looking for today. You can design a custom nutrient premix that includes vitamins, minerals, MCTs, prebiotic fiber, and more! 

Download our brochure on Custom Nutrient Premixes.