Ingredients on alert: How consumer demand is influencing baking’s future

Jul 27, 2020, 14:47 PM by John Unrein
clean label

While the list of ingredients commonly avoided by consumers fluctuates over time, those in search of clean-label fare typically stay away from things like partially hydrogenated oils (recently banned in the United States), FD&C colors, certain preservatives, sulfites, sulfates and chemical sweeteners, according to Corbion. Many of these ingredients can be found on Whole Foods Market’s Food Ingredient Quality Standards list, a guide intended for consumers to avoid unwanted ingredients.

Other ingredients consumers often avoid can include things like sugar, fat and gluten. In particular, gluten-free products have remained a popular consumer trend for some time now, fueled by diets that disallow gluten or emphasize lower intake of carbohydrates. Additionally, according to Innova Market Insights data from 2019, about 72% of consumers expect food manufacturers to remove or reduce certain ingredients to create a healthier product. This has led to a lot of experimentation, as bakers begin incorporating alternative flours made from chickpeas, soybeans and peas to create new, healthier items, said Kathy Sargent, director of Global Market Strategy for Corbion.

“In recent years, we’ve seen a surge of interest in baked goods that are enhanced, adding ingredients like extra vitamins, protein and fiber,” Sargent said. “Consumers are searching for foods that they perceive as healthier, and those that can help them address specific health concerns like obesity, high blood pressure or gut health. Innova Market Insights data from 2019 show that at least 66% of consumers expect food manufacturers to add these extra ingredients in order to create healthier products.”

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