While packaged food retail sales have generally been bolstered in 2020 by an increase in at-home food consumption as a result of COVID-19, baked goods has been negatively affected by disruptions to production and distribution. Both packaged and unpackaged baked goods have suffered, though the unpackaged segment has been hit hardest due to consumers’ limited access to retail outlets, increased concerns about food hygiene during the pandemic, and the fact that the shorter shelf life of such products makes them unsuitable for times when consumers are unable to make frequent shopping trips.
Baked goods has seen sales gravitate towards local modern grocery retail outlets, such as supermarkets near communities and convenience stores. These stores have benefited from consumers being unwilling or unable to venture very far to do their grocery shopping, as well as perceptions that they offer relatively high standards of hygiene.
Fujian Dali Food Co Ltd remains the largest player in baked goods. The company has been focused on expanding its presence in the breakfast market via the development of short-to-mid shelf life products (with shelf lives of 1-2 weeks and 1-2 months), though demand for such products has been undermined in 2020 by a consumer shift towards products with longer shelf lives because of the limited opportunities to visit retail outlets during lockdown.
Baked goods is expected to see healthy growth during the forecast period, underpinned by a return to normal levels of production and distribution. Increasing consumer demand will be supported by the ongoing Westernisation of lifestyles and diets, and the increasingly hectic character of modern urban living, which is driving demand for convenient food options.
Unpackaged products are set to continue to account for the majority of baked goods sales during 2020-2025. However, packaged products are set to compete increasingly directly with unpackaged alternatives as the range of products with a shorter shelf life expands.
COVID-19 has significantly bolstered the importance of e-commerce in baked goods. Many baked goods companies have cooperated with online platforms during the pandemic, with these partnerships expected to be maintained even after the threat from the disease has diminished.
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