Better for me; Better for the Earth.
For years, this mantra has been a fundamental part of the all-natural and organic bread movement. With strong roots cultivated in the 1960s and 1970s, the organic and all-natural categories continue to attract new consumers looking to experience health and wellness through great-tasting foods.
Today, organic and all-natural products are no longer associated only with health food stores. Ubiquitous, they are widely available both in the center aisle of the bakery and in the perimeter bakery. A February report from the USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) found that organic products are now available in nearly 20,000 health food stores and nearly three out of four conventional grocery stores.
USDA ERS data shows consumer demand for organic products continues to show double-digit growth. Organic food grew 12.8% in 2020 to about $ 57 billion, a faster rate than conventional food, according to the Organic Trade Association (OTA), Washington, DC Organic bread and grains account for 9 % of category sales, with price premiums remaining high in many markets.
Mordor Intelligence predicts that the global bread market will register a CAGR of 1.43% (2019-2024) with fortified, own-brand and organic bread being the preferred bread categories across the world. The global organic bread flour market was valued at $ 635.2 million in 2021 and is growing at a CAGR of 6.15% (2021-2027).
Increase in the number of health-conscious consumers
The continued interest in all-natural and organic products, which require production without genetic engineering, ionizing radiation or sewage sludge, is partly explained by a greater number of consumers with increasing sophistication regarding the link between food. and health and the impact of its purchases on Earth.
Ardent Mills, Denver, regularly conducts research to understand key drivers and identify new areas of opportunity for innovation. Entitled Drivers of Innovation, consumer-driven research has led to a focus on ingredients in food as medicine and wellness spaces.
“The food-as-medicine category shows the real health potential of organic grains and flours through solutions that can provide functional benefits that can contribute to gut health, increased fiber and protein, and stimulants.” immune, âsaid Matthew Schueller, director of analytics and marketing analytics. , Moulins Ardents.
As understanding of the organic market grows, manufacturers work closely with customers to identify the right approach to educate consumers on what is – and isn’t – and why it matters. , explained Lindsey Morgan, product marketing manager at Ardent Mills.
The OTA has found that the continued interest in organic is being driven by younger generations, reported Millennials and Gen Z consumers who use all-natural and organic purchases to promote ecological balance and biodiversity. This includes the continued popularity of whole and alternative grains and plant proteins that provide nutrition, protein and fiber to diets. These consumers are looking for products that focus more on quality and transparency and a demand for products containing natural ingredients and functional attributes, making bread the perfect vehicle.
A study by the American Bakers Association (ABA) found that 78% of Millennials eat carbohydrates, and most of those consumers (70%) also bought bread in the past week. Ninety-four percent of U.S. consumers say they’ve purchased a bread or baked product in the past six months, according to the Barry Callebaut Baking report.
âTheir collective consumption (of ABA) indicates that consumers don’t care so much about eating bread as they look for bread that identifies with the nutritional descriptors of ‘whole grain’, ‘freshness’ and ‘natural ingredients’. “said Alexander Salameh, COO, Boulangerie de France, Rockville, Maryland.
Bridor, USA, Boucherville, Canada, is one of a growing number of bakery manufacturers looking to increase their ability to meet bakery demand with frozen and pre-baked bread products that reduce complexity and alleviate problems caused by labor shortages in the bakery. Faithful to European traditions, Bridor’s soft artisan breads, oval-shaped bagnat breads, brioches and rolls and artisan-style breads emphasize a minimum of ingredients. The products in its Clean Label program ban over 150 unwanted ingredients.
Long before the creation of organic certification and the establishment of the US National Organic program in 2002, there were bakeries producing all-natural breads with organic ingredients. These bakeries served an audience already knowledgeable about the benefits of natural ingredients in the form of delicious organic breads.
One of these examples is Alvarado Street Bakery. The Petaluma, California-based bakery began making organic breads in 1978. Today, the worker-owned and operated business continues to support organic farming that promotes the health of its customers and workers. while protecting the environment. Applying ‘off the beaten track’ baking, the company incorporates ingredients such as hemp, hops, flax, chia and coffee flour ground from the fruit of ripe coffee cherries to demonstrate the versatility of healthy whole grain products.
Another longtime player in the organic category is Rudi’s Rocky Mountain Bakery, Boulder, Colorado, which started producing bread and other baked goods in 1976. The company started using organic ingredients in 1991 and , in 1998, the bakery participated in an organic certification program. , before finalizing national organic standards. The company’s organic small-batch breads contain between 95% and 100% organic ingredients, such as Quality Assurance International, an independent organic food certification company.
The solar-powered baker also works closely with the farmers who produce his ingredients to minimize the impact of farming on the environment, conserve energy and reduce waste internally. Through this partnership, the company continues to find inspiration for new varieties of organic bread without artificial ingredients, preservatives or GMOs, including a line of breads, tortillas and English muffins made from spelled, an ancient parent of wheat.
Bakery de France attributes the continued innovation within organic and all-natural bakery products to a return to nature and the search for better ways to produce naturally and efficiently – pursuing an evolution, not a revolution. The company’s Free From collection is free from chunks, molding and processing, allowing the product to take on its own shape, much like bread would when made by a neighborhood baker.
âStaying true to nature is at the heart of our convictions. We believe that minimal processing with simple ingredients is inherently a more sustainable way to produce artisan bread, âsaid Salameh. âIn some cases, the use of key organic ingredients can be of varying importance to consumers. In some cases, the desire for organic products is satisfied through an all-natural process and increased by the inclusion of organic ingredients.
Working with formulations containing whole and ancient grains, Boulangerie de France relies on a long fermentation to produce healthy and delicious products without the need for added sugars. To increase awareness of the whole grain content of its products, the company is partnering with the Oldways Whole Grain Council to engage with consumers and use the packaging to tell a story.
To continue to engage with consumers, the all-natural and organic narrative must also be accompanied by a sustainability discourse. These issues, which briefly took a back seat during the pandemic, are back in force according to the Hartman Group, Bellevue, Wash. change and broader concerns about environmental and social well-being.
No longer just about the environment or personal beliefs, sustainability is merging into a complete moral system, which guides decision-making for the betterment of the common good.
âSustainability is on the minds of buyers, especially young consumers,â Morgan said. âConsumers are thinking more about the details of the inside and outside of the package. Where does it come from? Who cultivates it? Is it sustainable? “
With increased transparency on the answers to these questions and a commitment to processes designed to minimize waste and reduce environmental impact, all indications predict a strong market for organic and all-natural breads in the distant future.
Those looking for the next level of organic innovation are increasingly turning to breads enriched with sprouted grains, whole grain seeds that have started to sprout. Available for use whole or dried and ground into a flour, the compounds provide fiber, minerals and bioactive compounds such as antioxidants.
The edible seeds of cereal grasses are composed of the germ, endosperm and a protective outer layer of bran. The sprout contains the oils and concentrated nutrients that allow the grain to become a shoot, and the endosperm supports the growth of the sprout as it enters the soil to become a plant. There is a diverse range of grains suitable for sprouting, including clover, alfalfa, corn, whole wheat, barley, millet, rice, and oats.
Those looking to further diversify an all-natural bread offering might consider cricket powder. Rich in B vitamins, amino acids, calcium, and a rich source of protein, cricket powder is a sustainable food ingredient that uses less energy, food, land and water than livestock and other cultures.
Griopro’s process in Athens, Georgia microencapsulates fats, oils, and other nutrients into tiny particles of protein. The product is available as a powder or as a coarser meal, providing bakers with a complete, high-quality source of protein.
The USDA National Organic Program is an authorized certification agent under all USDA organic regulations.
- 100% organic – organic ingredients (excluding salt and water, which are considered natural)
- Organic – contains a minimum of 95% organic ingredients (excluding salt and water), up to 5% can be non-organic ingredients
- Made with organic products – Contains at least 70% organic ingredients (excluding salt and water)