According to Délifrance, which produces French-style baked snacks for retail and foodservice customers in more than 100 countries, guilt-free means different things to different people.
It could mean a clean label or an interest in fewer ingredients with stronger provenance.
It could focus on health, covering fortified products or those with added ingredients.
Another aspect to highlight is the increase in consumers suffering from allergies or food intolerances. Still eager for indulgent snacks with baked goods, this cohort has specific needs when it comes to ingredients, though it’s less about guilt-free and more about stress-free treats.
important demographic group
With an estimated 1-2% of adults and 5-8% of children now suffering from food allergies and the numbers are expected to rise, these consumers represent a significant part of the snack food market.
Research by Délifrance found that three-quarters of UK consumers with food allergies enjoy bread, 74% enjoy sweet treats such as brownies or cakes, 70% eat pastries such as croissants and pains au chocolat, and 66% enjoy salty treats like cheese twist.
This lawsuit, and the introduction of Natasha’s Law last October, prompted the producer’s report. Try it: Adapting the bakery to meet the needs of food hypersensitive consumers, which provides advice on how bakeries can cater to this demographic and still increase profits through choice.
lifting the loaf of bread
The pandemic has particularly increased the need to be more health conscious. In fact, Délifrance data shows that 40% of consumers now want bread with health benefits. Taking the concept further, it also reveals that healthier options could encourage 21% of consumers to eat more bread.
This highlights the opportunity for retailers and operators to increase sales by communicating the health benefits while demonstrating the indulgence that options like sourdough or rye can provide.
Of those consumers looking for more health benefits in bread, Délifrance Prove it: a focus of breadThe research revealed that almost a fifth (17%) want more vitamins or nutrients; 14% want more cereals, grains and nuts; and 14% want more digestible breads.
Seeded and sourdough loaves are clear winners in this regard, and the market is already showing strong growth compared to pre-COVID-19, with white and brown sourdough loaves +61% and sourdough loaves with seeds +43%.
Also, the top health benefit consumers are looking for is “high in fiber.” Designed specifically to capitalize on this demand, Délifrance introduced high-fiber baguettes and pavés, allowing consumers to indulge while enjoying the benefits of fortification.
The importance of clean label
Interest in clean label has increased steadily in recent years, meeting the health, environmental and food hypersensitivity needs of consumers.
Recognizing this, the company has streamlined recipes across the board, while reviewing the provenance of each ingredient used. As part of their Go Clean approach, this meant eliminating additives and using minimal ingredients, but catering to the wellness market with healthy flours like buckwheat. He’s also worked hard to create better-tasting vegan products, and claims his plain vegan croissant is the cleanest offering on the market.
How to catch the snacker guilt free
Délifrance believes that these diverse consumer needs show that guilt-free snacking is here to stay, and checking ingredients and clearly labeling products will be essential for food operators to remain competitive.
With limited time to browse, consumers want to quickly find a snack that suits their tastes and dietary needs. Clarity around ingredients is now the law for allergies, but it can also help these guilt-free snackers quickly find something that meets their needs.
Well thought out labelling, at the point of sale and on the pack, is even more important when offering a dazzling variety of bread, pastries and pastries. Similarly, it pays off for operators to invest time and thought into labels that draw attention and inform while wheting their customers’ appetites.