The annual IDDBA report (What’s in Store – 2015) provides excellent data and analysis on evolving consumer trends spreading across all platforms of baked goods and the bakery aisle.
What continues to catch our eye when going through the “Bakery Department” of this year's report is the mounting data on the growing challenge of reaching millennials in the bakery section. Specifically, the challenge is set out for in-store bakeries to better accommodate the rapidly evolving demands of consumers who were born between 1980 and 2000. It is thought that millennials' changing tastes in condiments, gravies and sauces is driving consolidation in that grocery segment as well, resulting in the recent Kraft and Heinz merger. The data provided by the IDDBA report indicates that millennials are 50% more likely than boomers to place an importance on digestion related health claims such as gluten-free or lactose free. Of further importance is that 39% of millennials purchase their baked goods at preferred stores, not their primary grocer. That figure compares directly to baby boomers, where only 27% utilize specialty bakeries for those purchases.
In 2014 and going forward for the foreseeable future, millennials will continue to actively seek out specialty products that directly cater to their heightened desire for health and wellness driven foods and continue to pose a specific problem for bakery snack producers, as well as in-store bakeries.
It is an enormous take away that all the current consumer data continues to show: The biggest challenge for bakery snack producers to remain relevant on your grocers shelves is to make a connection with the toughest consumer group they’ve ever encountered – Millennials.
“When it comes to engaging Millennial shoppers, IDDBA research suggested that conventional in-store bakeries might face an issue of relevance. Millennials ranked bakery dead last in order of importance among fresh perimeter categories.”