Next-Level Baking: 8 Retail Bakery Trends for 2020

To stay relevant with your target audience, and ahead of the competition, it’s critical to leverage food trends to influence your menu and grow your business. Dawn Foods combed data and consumer behavior to identify the top bakery industry trends to help you better meet consumer needs.



1. Blissful Indulgence — a short but sweet break

Indulging in a sweet treat is just one way a customer can disconnect from our overconnected world. Even though healthy eating has garnered plenty of attention recently, more than half of consumers have enjoyed a sweet treat in the past day.1 And 52% of consumers crave classic desserts with a little twist—think s’mores, birthday cake donuts or banana splits.1 This baking trend goes to show the power of pastry! Read more at “The Path to Gourmet Donuts is Paved with Profit — and Creativity” and “Extreme Milkshakes.” 

2. #Eatertainment — dazzling dining

Today, eating out isn’t just an occasion, it’s an experience combining fun activities, socializing and delicious food. For bakeries, this means mirroring the experience—at least on a small scale—to try and grab a piece of the eatertainment pie. About 60% of consumers have an interest in visiting an eatertainment establishment and about 40% an arcade bar, bowling restaurant or social emporium.2 

What can you do? Create an entertaining atmosphere for your store by hosting food trivia nights and bingo games or opening your space up to private events. Remember, eatertainment is bringing new meaning to the old phrase “playing with your food.” To learn more, read “Get Inspired to Eatertain” and "Baking Inclusions That Boost Products’ Sensory Experience.”

3. My Food ID — foodies share stories online

What’s the dish on the dish? Customers like sharing their dining stories and photos as part of developing their personal brand: 25% of people who share food photos do so to document what they ate that day, 12% to focus on the artistic, and 16% to document a special day or event.3 

At 18.3%, “sweets/desserts” is the top category of foods appearing the most in photos3 — and 84% of consumers make a purchase after reading about it on a blog. Want help getting started: Here are the top trending food hashtags on Instagram: #Food, #FoodPorn, #Yummy, #Foodie, #Delicious, #Dinner, #Breakfast, #Yum, #Lunch and #Homemade. Read more at “#Foodstagram” and “Social Media Made Easy.”

4. Mashup Adventure — cooking goes cosmopolitan

Reimagining creations and blending flavors among cultures create newfound tastes and offers unique experiences for the senses. Thirty-four percent of consumers—and 40% of millennials—prefer visiting restaurants offering dishes with new or innovative flavors/ingredients.4 Check out “Mashup Mania” and “Consumer Trend Guide: Mashup Mania.”

5. Enlightened Eating — health-conscious living

Pure and simple: Consumers want ingredients that are wholesome and nutritious. With 80% identifying as health conscious5 and 91% thinking food and beverages with distinct ingredients are healthier,6 it’s clear consumers are opening their minds before opening their mouths! To read more about the rise of clean label desserts in this baking trend, check out “Coming Clean” and “Baking and Decorating with Natural Food Coloring.”

6. Transparency 360 — cuisine with a cause

An awareness of environmental impact, local communities and sustainable food methods are values important to a growing segment of consumers, who in turn select products that reflect these principles. Of those surveyed, 50% have a preference for companies that defend issues related to society and culture.7 Authenticity is highly valued, as people want more than empty talk—they want action. Learn more at “How Baked Goods Manufacturers Can Meet the Demand for Transparency” and “Transparency 360 Spotlight.”

7. 25/7 — food at the ready but quality steady

Consumers want productivity in food prep, cooking and delivery without a drop in quality. For instance, millennial diners are busy, with 39% reporting the only dining choice they often have is to eat on the go.8 Consumers also are turning to meal prep services to achieve delicious home-cooked meals that don’t take a lot of prep. To win that audience, meals must be fast and flavorful. Read more at “Best Practice: Customer Care” and “How to Adapt Packaging for On-the-Go Consumers.”

8. Just For Me — products personalized, pronto

Products fitted to a consumer’s needs are in demand along with the ability to track order history and get custom recommendations. Twenty percent of consumers expressing enthusiasm for personalized products or services are willing to pay a 20% premium,9 and 22% will gladly share information for more personalized customer service or product.9 Read more at “Sweet Selling.”

Want to learn more about what’s trending? Check out our 2020 global bakery industry trends.

1 “Dessert’s Sweet Spot,” Datassential Keynote Report, April 2019 
2 “Inside the Rise of Eatertainment Dining,” QSR, December 2017   
3 “17 Enticing Food Picture Sharing Trends and Statistics,”, June 2017
4 “Consumer Food Trends: Ethnic Flavors Make Their Mark,” Technomic, February 2018
5 “Almost 80% of Consumers Look for Products with Fewer Ingredients,” NutriFusion    
6 “Onward and upward: Clean label trend shows no signs of slowing,” Food Dive, January 2019  
7 “To Affinity and Beyond: From Me to We, the Rise of the Purpose-Led Brand,” Accenture Strategy, 2018
8 “Generational Consumer Trend Report,” Technomic, 2018
9 “Made-to-Order: The rise of mass personalisation,” Deloitte, 2019