Puratos vegan doughnut mix

Source: Puratos

Bakery manufacturers face cost and quality challenges with more than half of consumers anxious about the rising price of food, according to Puratos UK.

The latest research from the bakery ingredients provider found the UK was the most worried nation globally when it came to rising prices and inflation, with three quarters (74%) citing it as a top concern. The price of food was one of the biggest causes of anxiety, cited by 53% of respondents, ahead of fuel costs (42%) and house prices (17%).

According to the research, indulgent products represent an area where consumers are trying to save money, with almost a third (30%) considering cutting back on buying cakes, patisserie and other sweet goods. However, while cost saving is increasingly a priority, the research found many consumers are forgoing the cheapest bread (47%), cakes and patisserie (38%), and chocolate (50%) for quality they trust.

Earlier this year, the Taste Tomorrow survey by Puratos highlighted a climate of conscious consumerism and the trend towards holistic health in food shopping choices. Puratos believes the findings of its research show manufacturers should “rise to the challenge” of protecting their profit margins while appealing to consumer demand for nutritious, premium and more affordable products.

“It is evident that rising cost is the most pertinent issue faced by UK consumers today, permeating every aspect of their daily lives, and the latest news about an impending recession will surely compound concerns,” said Lydia Baines, marketing manager – patisserie, at Puratos UK. “That being said, consumers are not willing to sacrifice quality or their health goals in the pursuit of cost savings.

“This demand for ‘more for less’ may seem like an arduous endeavour but advanced innovations are available to help with this dilemma and make the ‘bakers’ dozen’ go further,” Baines added.

According to Puratos, potential solutions exist in the greater efficiency offered by plant-based substitutes for butter, egg and similar ingredients, with the company claiming its ACTI Egg solution can enable a reduction of up to 15% of egg use.

“It is evident that plant-based ingredients can provide the cost savings that are highly desirable right now for both manufacturers and consumers – but the benefits go beyond price, satiating growing appetite for valuable, healthier and responsibly sourced food,” said Baines.

“The industry has proven its resilience in the past – demonstrated most recently by its endurance through the pandemic – and the age-old adage ‘out of adversity comes opportunity’ still rings true today. With the right solutions, it is possible for manufacturers to tick all boxes, without cost or compromise, and future-proof their business with a profitable, plant-based strategy,” Baines added.