According to Organic Trade Association (OTA) data, sales of products carrying the USDA Organic seal soared during the COVID-19 pandemic, as at-home and healthy eating trends created a perfect storm for better-for-you grocery purchases.
While fresh, frozen and canned organic fruits and vegetables performed predictably well, OTA identified the baked goods category as the main growth driver in 2020. Consumers rushed to stock their pantries, sales of organic flours and baked goods grew 30%, and the only factor constraining sales from further growth was supply.
Experts from bakery brands Homefree and Manna Organics weighed in with Food & Beverage Insider about the ongoing opportunity in the better-for-you bakery market to bring in more—and different—consumers.
Jill Robbins, president, Homefree LLC: There is opportunity for more inclusive, indulgent options in the category. Many items are perceived or labeled as “restrictive” and only appealing to a select group of consumers with a specific dietary lifestyle. In other words, a product can be made for and marketed to a specific target consumer group with a specific dietary lifestyle, such as gluten-free, and consumers without that restriction may perceive that the product is there “for someone else.” At Homefree, we ensure that all of our products are delicious and wholesome for anyone, and that they also include people with a range of dietary needs and lifestyles.
Markus Schramm, founder and CEO, Manna Organics LLC: While our sprouted breads, kale chips and nut butters have all been popular with Millennials, we are beginning to find ways to appeal to Generation Z. We’ve found that they are similar to the Millennial crowd in their motivation to eat foods with recognizable, whole-food ingredients that provide nutritional benefits beyond calorie counting. But what is especially unique is that they’ve come to expect whole-food, plant-based ingredients as the norm rather than the exception. We look forward to continuing to expand our reach to them through social media, as well as education and transparency when it comes to the benefits of eating our products.
This excerpt was taken from the digital magazine, “Fresh baked: Blue ribbon strategies for the bakery aisle. Click the link to read it in its entirety.
Melissa Kvidahl Reilly is a freelance writer and editor with 10 years of experience covering news and trends in the natural, organic and supplement markets. She lives and works in New Jersey.