Global bakery market driven by the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle

The global bakery market has been forecast to see retail values rise to US$465 billion in 2012, with the market still offering a good potential for growth.

Added value innovation focusing on health and convenience is strongly driven by developed markets, as obesity and time pressures mount. However, emerging market consumers are also becoming more willing – and able – to spend more on added value formats, such as high fibre. Meanwhile, volatile input costs, coupled with clean label and other ingredient trends, continue to drive product development.

Bread is one of the oldest prepared foods in history. Given their historical, cultural and dietary significance, bread and bakery products are a staple across the majority of the civilized world.

Europe is the dominant producer and consumer of bread and bakery products, which are deeply ingrained in their national and religious diets. Eastern Europe in particular has shown significant growth in demand and consumption, driven by rising affluence and increased investment.

In North America, however, a low-carbohydrate craze swept across the region in the early 1990s, spearheaded by the Atkins Diet. The phenomenal popularity of the diet continued mostly unabated until nearly 2004, after which consumer interest began steadily waning.

The pursuit of health remains key. Within bakery, this is manifesting itself via more nutritionally beneficial offerings. Whether through increasing fibre content, replacing fat or sugar, or addressing particular nutritional conditions, such as gluten intolerance or diabetes, the diversity of bakery is increasing and still represents a clear method of value addition to satisfy global consumers.

The health and wellness trend is seen mostly in North America and Western Europe, with an overall global value of US$74 billion in 2011, and a growth rate of around 3% from 2010.

And North Americans tend to value organic products more than anyone else, with spending around US$17 per household, compared to a global average of just US$2.40.

Changing lifestyles and increasing time pressures are forcing consumers to seek easy snacking and breakfast options. Single-serve cakes and pastries represent a simple method of portion control, which is attractive for indulgence-seeking while also health conscious consumers.

For more information on the global bakery market, see the latest research: Global Bakery Market , published by .

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