What do women want (from bread)?

By Annie Harrison-Dunn

- Last updated on GMT

“Women are not a niche market. Manufacturers should think about what nutrition they need and how to market it,” says Datamonitor new product analyst.
“Women are not a niche market. Manufacturers should think about what nutrition they need and how to market it,” says Datamonitor new product analyst.

Related tags Nutrition

Manufacturers should look to develop breads tailored to women’s nutritional needs, according to a Datamonitor researcher.

In a monthly review of global product innovation, Datamonitor researcher Ghina Romani told BakeryandSnacks.com that this idea had recently hit the South American market with Chile-based Ideal’s launch of a bread for women. The bread came in two varieties - 'healthy digestion' and Vitamin D and calcium-fortified. 

Ideal bread

Chile-based Ideal S.A. has launched two breads for women under its Ideal brand name.

The product comes in healthy digestion and calcium-fortified varieties.

The first variant is enriched with linseed and plum and low in sodium.

The second option is enriched with calcium, vitamin D and chia.  

Romani said the concept was a “very clever” ​way to engage a large and loyal female consumer base. 

“With the increasing market demand for women-only products, manufacturers have a bigger opportunity to launch a successful product. However, new products that provide solutions to health problems and offer simplification and convenience have a stronger chance to satisfy and meet female consumers.” 

She said that despite a stereotype of women avoiding bread for fear of bloating, Datamonitor research had revealed that in reality, across the globe 25% of women buy bread daily – just 2% lower than the worldwide figure for men.

Venus and Mars

The Chilean bread launch was a South American first - following a Japanese bread in 2004 boasting fiber for health, beauty and constipation relief; the UK’s 2008 Food Doctor Bread For Women with female-specific fortification; a soy-lin variety of a George Weston Foods bread in Australia; and a salba, soy, linseed and manuka honey bread in New Zealand both in 2009.

However, for men Romani said there had only been one global launch of this kind – a George Weston Foods bread high in fiber, protein and omega-3 in Australia in 2009.

“This still isn’t a very big trend. There has always been mass-production methods from manufacturers, producing very large amounts of the same products and not taking into account the different segments.”

She said it would be interesting to see more and more manufacturers tapping into this opportunity.  

“Women are more loyal consumers. They are more likely to keep buying a brand. They are also more likely to spread the word and tell their friends about products.”

Romani added that women also wielded considerable “spending power”.

“They have the money and take the decisions when they do the food shopping,”​ she said.

Targeted products

Romani said firms hoping to engage women should focus on nutritional needs specific to them, as well as creating packaging and a marketing story targeting this demographic.

“Women are not a niche market. Manufacturers should think about what nutrition they need and how to market it.”

Gender-targeted products have been seen elsewhere in the food industry, with US brand Powerful Yogurt seeking to create a ‘dairy for men’ category with its male-focused yoghurt branding. Romani said milk and beer for women were also emerging gendered categories. 

Meanwhile UK sports nutrition firm Bio-Synergy told sister publication NutraIngredients last year that supposed ‘shrink it and pink it’​ methods of transforming male-oriented sports nutrition product was a lazy way to meet female needs – insisting a more tailor-made approach to formulations was needed. 

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