Bakery is booming and it’s no surprise. Not only has “from scratch” baking enjoyed a huge resurgence during the lockdown brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the yearning to find comfort in the nostalgic and tasty indulgences of baked goods has also contributed to an already-strong market for baking mixes and ready-to-eat bakery products—both savory and sweet. In this era of enhanced awareness about nutrition and wellness, however, not just any product will do.
Today’s consumers are looking more closely than ever at what’s in their food, especially when it comes to how they indulge. This includes seeking out bakery items made with wholesome, real food ingredients, functional add-ins, limited processing and qualities such as USDA Organic, non-GMO, vegan, plant-based, Fair Trade and more. At the same time, people are paying equal attention to what isn’t in their food, which might mean ingredients such as sugar, gluten, soy or dairy.
Despite these demands, U.S. consumers still want all the indulgence of their favorite bakery treats with none of the guilt. And, thanks to the creativity of natural products brands—particularly with regard to ingredient innovation—there’s no reason they can’t have their clean label cake and eat it too. Today’s products offer all the great taste and texture of beloved cakes, cookies, crackers and even breakfast foods, along with added benefits that might include extra protein, superfoods, hidden veggies, good fats and more.
Here are a few of the very different takes on clean label bakery that have been hitting store shelves and reflect some of today’s most noteworthy dietary tribes.
Base Culture Original Keto Bread
Finding the perfect bread when following a keto or paleo diet is no easy task, but this frozen loaf from Base Culture more than checks all the boxes. The best part is the nutty, sweet taste and ultra-clean ingredient list made up of wholesome ingredients such as eggs, almond butter, arrowroot flour and golden flaxseed meal. Another bonus: This women-owned B Corp keeps all its production in-house to ensure the highest quality across the board.
Purely Elizabeth Ancient Grain Pancake Mix
Fueled by organic grains and seeds such as teff, buckwheat, chia, hemp and flax, it’s hard to believe this Non-GMO Project Verified pancake mix is gluten-free—but, it is. And with an almond flour base, there are 7 g of protein in every serving of mix (and no added sugar). Just add eggs, oil and water for a wonderful, whole-grain flavor and texture.
To read this article in full check out the Clean label innovation in the bakery aisle – digital magazine.
Adrienne Smith is the Senior Food Business Reporter at New Hope Network, where she writes about the natural products market. Prior to this she spent more than ten years working for the Spanish Ministry of Commerce, writing about the food and beverage industry in Spain and Europe with an emphasis on helping agri-food companies develop, promote and export their products.