Bakery Review|December - January 2020
Variety, it is said, is the spice of life. This is all the more applicable in the bakery industry where there is a necessity for a change in the product range at regular intervals. It may be mentioned that the demand for processed and convenience foods has been increasing constantly and the changing lifestyles and food habits have led to unceasing changes in bakery products over the years. These changes are expected to continue in the future too. The changes that are forecast would be in the flavours, ingredients, packaging, technology, et al.
Baking, over the years has undergone numerous changes. History of baking can be traced back to the medieval period, when baking was considered as a luxury. During the Roman period, people loved baked goods, which were in great demand for important occasions like feasts and weddings. Around 300 BC Romans introduced baking as an occupation. The first open-air bakery commenced in Paris.
The world’s oldest oven, around 6500 years old, was discovered in Croatia in 2014. Pre-cut bread, using automatic bread slicing machine, invented by Otto Frederick Rohwedder, was introduced on July 7, 1928 in Chillicothe, Missouri.
Changes have been a constant in the bakery industry. Globalization transformed baking in the 16th and 17th centuries, which heralded an explosion of treacle and currants. John Walter, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Essex, has stated, “If you were wealthy, your baked goods would be rich in exotic colour. But if you were poor, you were grateful if you could afford meat for your pie.”
Convenience, accessibility and nutrition profile have been the major factors for the growth of bakery industry. The trend for “Natural nutrition”, “healthy living” and “organic products” has significantly raised the consumers’ demand for bakery products and the need for the industry to come up with products that meet the requirements of the young generation, which is the one that consumes a major portion of the bakery products. About 65% of India’s population of 1.21 billion comprises of youth. It is thus necessary for the industry to understand the craving of the youth.
Upcoming New Trends
Kamlesh Salve, Executive Chef, The Mirador Hotel, Mumbai, states, “Driven by consumer preferences and patisseries’ relentless desire to experiment, the bakery industry is continuously evolving. When a new flavour is well received, it never signals the epitome of baking. Chefs continue exploring and experimenting because consumers expect to be treated to novel treats regularly. Demand for innovative treats makes the bakery industry among the most competitive in the world.
“The great thing is Chef’s skilled at baking, and anticipating flavours consumers love, are rewarded handsomely. Those unwilling to experiment and unable to predict trends may not have to close shop, but they will never enjoy the prestige of those who can do both.
“We have seen several changes in eating habits; to name a few… gluten-free meal or breads, dairy-free product.”
He adds, “Because millennials have grown up in the age of globalisation, they are more conscious of health trends going around the world and are more sensitive to body perceptions. Whi le they are consciously changing their food habits, their diet is also unconsciously being affected by changing global trends in the fitness industry. Millennials prefer places with strong food ethics. They want to know how fresh or organic their food is, where their food is coming from, and if it is ethically sourced.
“Gluten-free bread is the newest trend. Plant-based options are also infiltrating foods like pizza crust made with butternut squash and cauliflower. Breads are being fortified with beet and carrots, chickpeas pasta. There is also a demand for sugar-free desserts. Everything which is made without sugar, gluten or dairy products is becoming the preferred choice. Usage of dehydrated buckwheat, seeds and dried fruit is being used instead of sugar.”
Alex Dias, Executive Chef, Novotel Hotels & Resorts Goa is of the opinion that people are looking for healthy options, which are sustainable. “Bread”, he adds, “plays an important role. It is served across all meals in the form of sandwiches and even in soups.”
He avers, “Regardless of age, consumers want to live a wellness lifestyle that will help them to stay fit. Millennials like to see things differently, and are ready to try new things. Local bakers need to come up with more of local stuff, incorporate their products with local seeds or fresh produce within the local farms or local market.”
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December - January 2020