The new report, "Baked Goods: Culinary Trend Mapping Report", found that even in the midst of recession, baked goods innovation – and consumption – has continued to increase.
CEO of CCD Kimberly Egan said: “Despite economic challenges, baked good sales have grown in the last few years. Consumers continue to connect with affordable baked goodness for the comfort it delivers, a comfort experience that now comes in many more varieties, shapes and sizes to meet everyone's needs."
Among specific trends highlighted in the report, CCD said that gluten-free bakery is a rapidly expanding sector, driven by more than just the estimated 1 in 133 Americans with celiac disease, the autoimmune disorder with symptoms triggered by gluten.
“While celiac disease sufferers must avoid all gluten, people with a host of other ailments are similarly giving up wheat to see if they are better off without,” CCD said.
It also found that pretzels are making a comeback as they are increasingly taking on a handcrafted, specialty twist.
“This twisted treat is showing up everywhere from fine dining restaurants and swanky bars to specialty shops, and it’s taking on new and better forms: as a bar snack, sandwich roll, crusting agent and ingredients in sweets.”
Alongside the traditional American popover, French gougères pastry puffs and artisan patisserie products from around the world are also becoming more popular, as Americans are experimenting with more global foods and flavors.
One example of this is the South American alfajore, a sweet sandwich cookie with a caramel filling, appealing to Americans looking for an exotic slant on the familiar, according to CCD.
CCD’s collaborative reports with Packaged Facts are based on trend mapping, which it says is guided by the premise that new flavor trends often go through five distinct phases on their way to becoming mainstream.
New trends tend to emerge at upmarket dining establishments, it says, passing into specialist consumer food magazines and television programs, before being picked up by mainstream chain restaurants, then begin to appear in family-oriented consumer magazines, and finally appear in grocery stores and/or quick service restaurants.