Getting the textures and taste right are the biggest challenges for sweet bakery manufacturers as more than half of those surveyed by Dawn Foods listed these two factors as the most important aspects for vegan bakery products to achieve.
Like regular sweet baked goods, how a product looks is the biggest factor in its appeal (more than half the people surveyed listed visual appearance as the most important). Luxury or indulgence is still the most important factor that people look for in sweet bakery items. Those which look homemade too, or which feature healthy ingredients, are also part of the consumer ‘wish list’.
Traditionally, bakery products are expected to contain products of animal origin such as butter, eggs or milk, so when consumers think of a vegan bake which doesn’t contain any of those ingredients, they automatically perceive them as lacking in flavour. In Dawn's experience with taste tests, consumers are surprised when they taste a sweet bakery product made with a quality vegan mix. Many cannot believe that it is vegan.
Vegan bakery is still evolving, so many ingredients have focussed on functionality – mouthfeel, texture and flavour for example – rather than visual appeal. For consumers looking for an indulgent sweet bakery treat, bakers should not only focus on how the product tastes but how it looks too. All consumers ‘buy with their eyes’ so adding inspirational toppings, frostings and decorations to a vegan bake will make it appealing to all types of consumer and of course, drive sales in this fast expanding sector.