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Out with the bad, in with the good: Consumers seek positive nutrition

By Kacey Culliney , 23-Oct-2013
Last updated on 23-Oct-2013 at 12:00 GMT2013-10-23T12:00:44Z

Negative removed claims like trans-free and low in fat are still important in bakery, but there's a shift to positive nutrition, the research director of Packaged Facts says
Negative removed claims like trans-free and low in fat are still important in bakery, but there's a shift to positive nutrition, the research director of Packaged Facts says

Removing negative ingredients like trans fats from bakery is still important for consumers but they are also looking for positive nutrition, says the research director of Packaged Facts.

In February 2013, Packaged Facts conducted a 2,000-strong survey in the US that found 45% sought whole grain in bread. A further 34% said high fiber was important while 28% looked for no trans fats.

“The negative removed claims are still there - they are still important, it’s just that the paradigm has expanded to include these positive attributes. We’re expanding beyond simply thinking of negative removes,” said David Sprinkle, publisher and research director of Packaged Facts.

Consumers, particularly millennials, are setting trends, Sprinkle told attendees during an educational session at IBIE 2013 in Las Vegas.

“This is increasingly a time for millennials – they want infinite change and variety,” he said.

“They’re increasingly looking for positive attributes in their foods, particularly with positive nutrition. There is a shift and real sophistication and this trend opens up very powerful opportunities for the baking industry.”

Positive attributes: Full steam ahead

Sprinkle said a look at the restaurant sector reveals a clear trend towards positive food claims, like high in fiber and made using whole grains. He said that these claims are gaining traction in place of reduced fat or low calories.

“Over time, you can really see the positive attributes gaining steam on menus and these are really the precursors to industry claims. You can see this changing paradigm in menu data and that’s very important and a future trend that will be driving food production development,” he said.

He said that health concerns and attention to ingredients was driving this trend towards whole wheat and whole grain varieties.

These positive nutritional attributes are particularly important to premium consumers, he said, as they are willing to spend more.

Health inclusions, even in sweet goods

Beyond whole wheat and whole grain baked goods, there are opportunities for healthy inclusions like nuts and fruit or dark chocolate, Sprinkle said.

“Even in sweet baked goods, people are looking for these positive nutrition aspects – they are looking for real traditional and refined indulgence,” he said.

For example there are chocolate éclairs on the market topped with fresh pistachios and pastries with super fruits, he said.

“There is enormous potential to feature and brag about these positive attributes. Consumers are looking for healthier ingredients.”

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