Our yearly round-up

Our yearly round-up

As December rolls around it only seems natural to look back on the year we have had and try to make sense of what has gone before. 

2019 has certainly been a tumultuous year. With the political landscape dominated by uncertainty there will unfortunately still be no end to the confusion as we enter a new year. However, despite all this upheaval, 2019 hasn’t all been doom and gloom. Take for instance British sport. With another stellar year of victories in the cricket world cup and women’s 6 nations, to name but a few, there has certainly been lots to celebrate and take our minds off the turmoil around us.

But what have been the main influencers in the bakery sector as a whole this year? It seems 2019 was abound with buzzwords and trends including but by no means limited to: Ruby chocolate, rhubarb, botanical flavours, and reduced sugar. However, while many of these will continue into 2020, the biggest trends of the year have to be Veganism and Food-to-go.

Veganism – How meat-free became mainstream

Although Veganuary has been celebrated every January since 2014, pre 2019, veganism was still viewed somewhat as a niche diet. However, its popularity had in-fact been on a steady rise and it seems January 2019 was very much a tipping point for veganism when it finally became mainstream. 

Veganism and meat-free eating are both associated with ethical, environmental and health benefits and the rise in people switching from more traditional diets to vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian ones, means that meat-free is here to stay. The benefit to businesses of this new-age of eating is the untapped potential of the market, allowing plant-based versions of classic favourites to appeal to many – who can forget Greggs’ Vegan Sausage roll?

This year, a steady stream of new vegan suitable products entered the market place, and we cannot see this trend stopping in 2020. With another Veganuary just around the corner, we should all be ready for consumers to be looking for something new, different and free from animal products.

Food-to-go – Making anytime mealtime

The Food-to-go market is booming in the UK, with this type of meal now accounting for one third of all out of home meals. It seems that within the FTG market customers are driven by price, convenience and quality with 32% of consumers saying food quality was a necessity.

With expectations that the entire FTG sector is to grow by £2 billion by 2022, there is a lot of competition wishing to gain a share of the market. The retailers who will succeed will be the ones that can offer a wide variety of hot and cold options which cater to key demographics. In 2020, we can expect to see a large growth in breakfast and healthy snacking with customers looking for global foods and plant-based options. 

Dan Watson, Purchasing Manager

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