Sugar Reduction is Top Health Priority in Growth Markets, Finds DuPont Bakery Consumer Survey

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14 Feb 2017 --- DuPont Nutrition & Health has pinpointed sugar reduction as the top health priority in a survey of consumer attitudes towards sweet baked goods in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and South Africa. The survey further revealed that biscuits, cookies, cakes and croissants are popular snacks in the three countries. As such, they are widely consumed at all times of day.

Growth markets in the Middle East and Africa are of particular interest to the sweet bakery industry. According to Innova Market Insights, 57% of new bakery launches come from the sweet segment, strongly led by biscuits and cookies. Traditional functional ingredients such as fiber are being looked at due to its long association with digestive/gut health, cholesterol reduction, weight management and diabetes prevention. Bakery is an obvious category by which fiber applications have the potential to further increase. It is anticipated that this will be a key NPD platform going forward. Click to Enlarge

“Women are the main decision-makers who choose which sweet bakery products to buy. They are also the consumers who are most concerned about health, especially the health of children and family members with a diet-related condition, such as type two diabetes. Sugar reduction is a key element in that,” says Lena Hamann, bakery marketing manager at DuPont Nutrition & Health. “In general, eating sweet baked goods as a snack is very common for men and women,” she adds.

Speaking with FoodIngredientsFirst, Hamann said: “37 million people are living with diabetes in the Middle East and North Africa - about 9.7% of the population - this number will nearly double in the next 20 years.”

According to Hamann, a variety of factors are driving this trend: “We see that rising obesity and diabetes rates in the region have sensitized some consumers; also governments in various countries are taking actions.”

“In addition, millennials, a large demographic group in these countries, are also driving changes in the consumption of food and beverages. They are a generation that is more connected technologically. Social media plays a part in defining lifestyles and eating habits,” she explains, “The influence from the West also plays a part.”

Health is a growing interest

Conducted in cooperation with the global market research organization GfK, the DuPont consumer survey focused on young professional men and women and mothers with children. All participants were aged 24 to 45.  

“Our findings show the impact of demographic change and changing attitudes in these markets. While sales of healthier baked goods are still very small in the markets surveyed, we can see there is a growing interest in health among certain consumer groups. 

“This represents an emerging opportunity for bakery manufacturers,” Lena says.

Click to EnlargeConcepts for local tastes
The DuPont bakery application team has developed a series of inspirational sweet bakery concepts for the Middle East and Africa. These include a chocolate muffin with caramel filling, chocolate chip cookie and chewy chocolate peanut cake – all with 30-40% less added sugar than a standard recipe and a fiber claim. 

A soft croissant concept has also been developed with a new all-in-one tailored blend – GRINDSTED POWERBake 401 – that ensures at least 28 days of just-baked freshness on the shelf. The croissant recipe is suitable for a sweet or savory filling.

“Consumer preferences vary a lot from market to market. One of our strengths is our ability to adjust recipes to local market tastes. The feedback from our survey has given us important insights for future, market-specific concept development,” says Jan Charles Hansen, principal bakery application specialist at DuPont Nutrition & Health.

by Elizabeth Kenward

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