The Millennial and Gen-Z demographics are not only looking for quality and health benefits but products that also deliver on sustainability, transparency and clean label. The COVID pandemic has seen most consumers generally more interested in foods that will benefit their physical and mental well-being too. As a result there’s been a big increase in ‘functional foods’ – ingredients such as CBD for example, or added vitamins to give food a health boost.
‘More is Less’ - products low in sugar, fats and alcohol are increasingly important. Not just low sugar alternatives, but those products with natural substitutes such as honey, coconut sugar, natural sweeteners from vegetables and fruit (avocado, courgette, sweet potato, beetroot).
‘Ingestible Beauty’ is a new, emerging trend. This is on the rise due to social media, like Instagram, where image and looks are everything (‘staying young forever’). However, growing numbers of consumers are looking to achieve natural beauty, with no chemical products, but instead using plant-based, sustainable and natural remedies. For example, the natural effects of turmeric, anti-ageing/ageless beauty salads, pomegranate, rose, spirulina, chamomile, tea tree, nettle and aloe vera. In particular, there’s a rise in products and drinks that have collagens for beautiful skin and B7 vitamin for stronger nails and hair.
Dessert Means Business
Great looking desserts are big business in the Instagram generation, with many a consumer seeking out dessert only cafes and restaurants. These outlets make the most of unique, stand out desserts such as real-life looking cakes which imitate fruits or other items, made with unique flavours that look amazing when you cut them in half.
Or something newer such as 'Jelly Cakes', where the cake is made to look like an underwater beach or mountain lake scene, with the transparent jelly allowing you to see through to the moulded cake beneath. Another cake design on the rise, is the 'Tsunami Cake’, where you see the plastic being pulled out from around the cake and watch the sauce and decorations fall around it. Check out @pauline_cake or @nayanecapistrano on Instagram for some videos of these cakes in action!
Photo Credit: 'Jelly Island Cake' by Kim-Joy @kimjoyskitchen
Krystal Jenkins, a second year undergraduate on University College Birmingham’s Bakery and Patisserie Technology course, gives her thoughts on bakery trends for 2021:
“There are so many emerging and exciting bakery trends for 2021 covering world flavours, health and indulgence, and visually stunning cakes to name a few. These trends provide bakers with real ‘food for thought’.
Flavours from Across the World
Delicious Japanese flavours and sweet products such as matcha, yuzu or mochi balls, adzuki beans, wasabi, miso caramel, sake, milk bread, cherry blossom and soy sauce are on trend. For an extravagant and unique dessert flavour how about Bloody Mary macaron with sake, wasabi, soy sauce and tomato paste fruit flavourings!
Indian flavours are gaining traction too, such as saffron, rose, cardamom, nuts, seeds and jaggery, a traditional Indian sweetener which is also said to have lots of health benefits and links well with the healthy foods trend.
Sweet & savoury/ spiced & herbal continue to tease our taste buds and are an extension of the salted caramel flavour, with which we have become familiar. We’re now seeing unusual ‘world flavour’ combinations in traditional bakery products such as matcha croissants for example. Bakes which offer a taste of different cultural flavours are much in demand as consumer travel, in the era of COVID, is curtailed.