Guest article

Taste trumps protein claims in cake & pastry purchases

By Mike Hughes

- Last updated on GMT

According to FMCG Gurus, consumers choose taste over health claims when it comes to cakes & pastries. Pic: ©GettyImages/Duka82
According to FMCG Gurus, consumers choose taste over health claims when it comes to cakes & pastries. Pic: ©GettyImages/Duka82

Related tags: Consumers, Market research, High protein, Taste, Health, Cakes, Pastry

Mike Hughes, head of Research and Insight at FMCG Gurus, emphasizes the importance of not overestimating the influence of high protein claims in the cakes & pastries sector.

Over the past decade, much attention has been given to the growing demand for high protein as consumers seek out products they deem to be guilt-free.

While there is some demand for high protein claims in the cakes & pastries sector, it is important not to overestimate this demand – or the extent that consumers check product labeling for ingredients.

Indulgence and enjoyment remain top priority, despite FMCG research showing that, across the globe at any one stage, 40% of consumers say they are on a diet to lose weight.

While there are many reasons why the obesity rate continues to rise, one of the key reasons is that consumers are prone to enjoying non-essential and impulsive treats daily. For instance, research shows that 50% of consumers say they like to enjoy moments of indulgence where they pay little-to-no attention to the nutritional value of the products.

Guilt-free indulgence

When it comes to such moments of indulgence, 90% of consumers across the globe say they enjoy cakes & pastries, despite often creating post-consumption guilt.

This means that more attention has been placed on the ingredients for these foodstuffs, aiming to position the products as guilt-free.

One claim that has become more common in the cakes & pastries sector over the past five years is high protein.

Such claims can be linked to an array of health benefits as well as being satiety enhancing, allowing cakes & pastries to be positioned as being genuinely nutritious.

When it comes to the food and drink industry overall, 60% of consumers say they are interested in products that claim high protein content.

However, it is important not to overestimate the influence that high protein claims have in the cakes & pastries sector. Our research found that:

  • 16% of consumers say that high protein claims have a significant influence on purchasing behavior.
  • High protein claims are most influential in Nigeria (30%) and Spain (20%) and least influential in Brazil (6%).
  • In comparison, 23% of consumers say that low or zero sugar claims have an influence on choice of product.
  • 18% say they closely check the labels on cakes & pastries to ensure they are additive-free.

Study highlights

Mike Hughes
Mike Hughes

The research highlights two findings.

Firstly, there is some interest in high protein claims in the cakes & pastries sector. However, it is important not to overestimate the influence of such claims on purchasing behavior compared to ingredients like sugar.

Secondly, despite the attention given to the dangers of excessive sugar intake over the past decade, consumers are not over-prone to checking product labeling and the sugar content of cakes & pastries.

This shows that, when it comes to moments of indulgence – synonymous with the cakes & pastries sector – priority continues to be given to taste and enjoyment, irrespective of any health concerns.

Study results were gleaned from two 2017 FMCG surveys – a global bakery survey that interviewed 10,572 consumers in Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy, Nigeria, Spain, Sweden, UK and the US; and a consumer survey of 12,672 consumers in the same countries.

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