Canadian consumers want to indulge in foods such as bakery goods, but they want to balance that with healthier options, according to a new report from Weston Foods.
The “Bakeology Report”, a first for Weston Foods, is a North American consumer trends study about the importance of bakery, the evolving relationship with food, and rising trends during the pandemic.
Key findings include that consumers turn to food and comfort food during the pandemic and eating habits have changed.
“The pandemic has created undeniable changes in our lives and affected our relationship with bakery,” says Luc Mongeau, president of Weston Foods. “We’re sharing this research into consumer behaviour and expectations at a critical moment for the foodservice and grocery industry.”
Consumers food choices are about balancing comfort and health, with 35 per cent eating more healthy foods and 33 per cent snacking more. 29 per cent are eating more desserts.
There is a growing demand for “better for you” bakery, such as all-natural baked goods and artisan-style bakeries.
33 per cent are eating more indulgent meals and treat, and 67 per cent enjoy eating baked goods from their childhood.
At-home baking is also up, 22 per cent for bread and 36 per cent for sweet goods, as a source of fun and comfort.
“Consumers are demanding products with ‘better for you’ benefits that also deliver on great taste,” says Irene Stathakos, vice president, insights, digital & design, Weston Foods. “By understanding consumers’ rapidly evolving needs, we can shape our strategies and innovation agenda to create delicious baked goods and satisfy what North Americans want.”
Findings also suggest that while bread is number one across North America, Canadians prefer savoury tastes while Americans prefer sweet.