US consumers are trying to live healthier lives, and this is having a huge impact on almost all categories of the food industry. According to this trend, baked goods should be one of the most challenged categories, since many of the ingredients used in the production of these items are being avoided by health-conscious consumers wary of carbohydrates and sugar.
Despite a growing pursuit among consumers of healthy eating habits, when it comes to indulging they are consistently finding a way to reward themselves on an occasional and single-serving basis. Highlighting this dynamic, package sizes are displaying an important dynamic with above-average sales increases for individually packaged products compared with larger packs.
Frozen food is making an unlikely comeback for the first time in years across different packaged food categories. The turnaround in sales has been influenced by nostalgia, as well as millennials and households with teenagers looking for more-convenient options to eat; many manufacturers are increasingly offering healthier options to meet this demand.
The baked goods industry is primarily fuelled by in-store bakeries, independent bakeries and large-scale manufacturers of packaged baked goods, such as category leaders Grupo Bimbo and Flowers Foods. Over the review period, as consumers flocked towards fresh and transparent items, in-store bakery sales grew strongly in spite of other prevailing health and wellness trends, and in-store bakeries is becoming an increasingly important and dynamic channel within fresh cakes and individual treats, stealing attention away from large-scale packaged food manufacturers in the process.
When Dave’s Killer Bread was acquired by Flowers Foods in 2015, the presence of organic bread on store shelves increased considerably, boosting the influence of breads appealing through health and wellness qualities. Since then, Dave’s Killer Bread has dominated organic bread and posted strong sales growth, developing the largest share of any competitor.
Despite this dominance, there remains an opportunity for packaged bread appealing through an array of health and wellness components. In this environment, large manufacturers of bread are increasingly likely to enter this lucrative space in an attempt to compete with Flowers Foods and carve out their own share of sales.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Packaged Food market research database.