Bread is an extremely mature category in Portugal, playing an important role in Portuguese culinary traditions and preceding or accompanying almost every meal. As a result, there is limited room for volume growth, especially as Portugal’s population is in decline due to a declining birth rate and a tradition of mass emigration.
The rise in consumer health-awareness is supporting growing demand for products with a “natural” positioning, prompting increasing interest in organic baked goods and products that are free from ingredients such as artificial dyes, flavours and preservatives, genetically modified organisms, lactose, antibiotics and hormones and have reduced sugar and salt content. The health and wellness trend is also stimulating consumer interest in the use of cereals other than wheat and it is notable that products containing whole grains, novel cereals and seeds are performing well in the traditional white bread segment.
Consumer interest in artisanal bread styles is an increasingly prominent feature of the Portuguese baked goods category. A growing number of Portuguese people are enrolling in courses to learn the craft of baking and artisanal methods of bread production.
In 2016, Mexican multinational, Grupo Bimbo, acquired Grupo Panrico-Donut, though one of the conditions allowing the deal was the simultaneous sale of Panrico's bread brands to Spanish player, Adam Foods. Retailers such as Sonae Modelo Continente Hipermercados, Jerónimo Martins - Distribuição de Produtos de Consumo, and Auchan Hipermercados Portugal also have a strong presence in baked goods through their private label ranges.
The trend towards artisanal-style bread is leading to the development of small local players such as Pão Nosso. Pão Nosso launched in the middle of the review period in Porto, utilising modern grocery outlets and online retailing to distribute its organic bread, and opened its own store and vegan and vegetarian café in the city in 2017.
Growing interest about the health impact of diets is leading to the emergence of specialist players and brands, notably in segments such as gluten-free products. The UK’s leading player in gluten-free products, Genius, is now active in the Portuguese baked goods category, while Ireks is also present in the market with a gluten-free product range including mixed breads, cakes, pastries and snacks.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Packaged Food market research database.