Consumers See Baked Foods as an ‘Affordable Indulgence’

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LAS VEGAS — According to the latest survey from the American Bakers Association, consumers feel an incredible level of permissiveness when it comes to buying baked goods. Anne-Marie Roerink, director of 210 Analytics, presented the results of the study, “Life Through the Lens of Baking 2022,” Sept. 18 at the International Baking Industry Expo in Las Vegas.

The study, commissioned by the ABA to learn more about how baked foods currently fit into consumers’ life events, surveyed more than 1,500 consumers in July. The results revealed opportunities for growth in the bakery both at home and outdoors, Ms. Roerink said.

Among the top concerns tracked by the study, the cost of groceries ranks highest, with 64% of respondents saying they are “very concerned” about high grocery prices. 54% of consumers said they were “very concerned” about high gas prices and 46% said they were “very concerned” about high restaurant prices, according to the study.

Even as inflation takes its toll, baked goods remain a priority for consumers, Ms Roerink said.

“People are creating room in their budgets for these types of activities,” she said. “Bakery products are an affordable indulgence. Consumers have an emotional connection to baked goods.

Baked foods have a high eligibility because many consumers enjoy baked treats occasionally as part of everyday life, she said. According to the survey, 84% of consumers agreed that “it is completely acceptable to treat yourself occasionally to baked treats such as cookies, cupcakes, donuts or pies”.

Making room in your budget for the occasional baked good like cookies, cupcakes or donuts, 45% of consumers said was “fairly important”.

When shopping for bakery items in-store, 56% of consumers changed their behavior, according to the study, with the majority of respondents searching for promotions more often.

The survey revealed that baked foods are an integral part of family traditions and celebrations.

“At least 80% of consumers view baked goods as an important part of family traditions, special celebrations and holidays,” Ms. Roerink said.

Based on these results, marketing and merchandising based on occasion and emotion could help boost sales of baked goods, she said.

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