Bakery has a role to play in helping consumers impacted by the fast-paced modern world, according to new research.

Baked goods and ingredients supplier Dawn Foods has identified eight ‘megatrends’ that it believes will help drive the baking industry and wider food markets this year.

Dawn’s researchers compiled the list of trends after studying industry data and conducting more than 100 interviews with bakers and suppliers worldwide.

“Dawn’s Eight Megatrends have been devised to assist bakers with developing new solutions to meet the needs of today’s fast-moving consumer,” said Dawn Foods UK and Ireland marketing manager Jacqui Passmore.

“Technology has changed the way consumers interact with food, as everything is much faster. Consumers seek even the briefest of moments to relax or indulge, which is good news for manufacturers of sweet bakery products.

She added that research had shown consumers were also concerned about healthier ingredients and where their food came from.

The eight trends identified are:

  • Blissful Indulgence: “People look for opportunities to disconnect and reduce stress and anxiety. They want a momentary escape from reality with an indulgent sweet.”
  • Just For Me: “Consumers expect custom experiences tailored to their individual needs to make them feel understood and important.”
  • Twenty-Five 7: “People are exploring ways to save time and maximise the hours in each day – they want easy, efficient experiences that won’t compromise food quality.”
  • My Food ID: “Food is an expression of who we are, and people want products that align to their personal values.” Dawn advises bakers to create a signature item by using local ingredients or by highlighting local traditions.
  • #Eatertainment: “There’s an experiential aspect to food that goes beyond mere sustenance as consumers seek ways to make eating an overall experience and a form of entertainment.”
  • Mash Up Adventure: “Consumers want their bakery treats to deliver a low-risk way of being adventurous. Cross-cultural flavours with surprising combinations and twists give people unique sensory experiences.”
  • Transparency 360: “Consumers increasingly seek out meaningful products aligned to values that impact the world, such as supporting local communities, sustainable practices and environmental impact.”
  • Enlightened Eating: “Health-conscious consumers seek great-tasting, simple products that are free from artificial ingredients and loaded with nutrients.”