THIS ARTICLE IS POWERED BY
-Meghana Harikumar (email@example.com)
The bakery business has enormous prospects for expansion, innovation, and the creation of jobs, as one of the main sub-sectors in India’s food processing industry. The changing customer preferences and lifestyles have made the industry ever-evolving. In line with a global trend, consumers are increasingly looking for healthier products and alternatives, particularly when it comes to bakery items, consumed daily rather than just as a treat. On-the-go eating habits have grown in popularity due to the recent inflow of foreign cafes and bakery brands. From egg puffs, honey cake, and potato bun, to pastries, eclairs, sourdough bread, and Berliners, never slipped out of being trendy.
“India is seeing a flourishing trend of classic breads. May it be focaccia, sourdough, multigrain, gluten-free bread, millet bread, ciabatta, etc. With market entrants like Baker’s Dozen, Brick Oven, The Health Factory, etc. the bread game is going through a major change for the better, said Vivek Pawar, Roxie.“Currently, bakeries are looking at sourcing ingredients locally. There is a shift to using plant-based alternatives that are both sustainable and environment-friendly. Consumers are also open to trying these vegetarian alternatives and don’t mind paying a premium for such products.’ said Kuldeep Bharani, Aurum Brew Works.
Adding to the trend note, Malini Menon of Byg Brewski Brewing Company said, “There are few that have been passed around in the community for a while now. Sourdough loaves, every flavored pull-me-up cake, personalized bento cakes, and multigrain or plant-based healthy desserts are a few that have caught my attention. But, does not mean the age-old egg puffs or khara buns have lost their fame.”
Nostalgia X Trend
The recent trend that has claimed its fame is the new age bakery products innovated with a touch of the old charms. Roxie recently launched a menu only for a dish called “Puffiza” (a pizza made with puff pastry sheets with various fillings and lots of cheese) aiming to introduce the puff culture to the new generation and migrants. It was a HIT!.“It is exciting to see the freshness in the city’s culinary scene. The recent heavy influx of just European and Asian dishes everywhere and the usual Punjabi dishes had made the scene quite monotonous. The rise isn’t of nostalgic dishes in new flavors, but nostalgic flavors in the new avatar. For example, the litti chokha and puffiza we serve at Roxie. A classic staple but in a plated Indian format with just minuscule change accompaniments.” added Viveq Pawar.
“Nothing connects better with people than a dose of nostalgia. At URU Brew Park we have taken the classic Tres Leches and added our twist to it by adding a variety of fruits, nougats, and Bailey’s cream to it. There you go, Nostalgia,” said Shyam Prasad Pandey, Executive Chef, Uru Brew Park. “Trends are very dynamic, but combining new flavours with nostalgic dishes is intriguing. New is always intimidating at first. Doing this creates an aura of excitement and uniqueness, with that ever so slight touch of comfort and familiarity and voila, it’s a creation in the market that’s probably never been thought of before. It may be in the limelight if done right,” added Malini.
Sourdough, the king of trends!
Sourdough breads have claimed their fame in recent times. Consumers are aware of the process of making sourdough bread and the health benefits, all thanks to social media. “Sourdoughs are here to stay. Consumers now are very well aware of the harm that commercially produced large-scale regular breads cause. There has been a rise in people developing allergies from excess gluten that they consume through such commercial breads. In sourdoughs, the gluten is slowly broken down making it very easy to digest the bread. I will prefer saying that this trend is constantly going to grow and evolve as people have now started paying attention to the products that they are consuming,” says Vivek.
“The process and culture of sourdough making are as old as 3700 BCE when bread production relied on the use of sourdough as a leavening agent for most of human history. The oldest sourdough present to date in the world is in the sourdough library in Belgium and dates back to 1868. Yes, some consumers are new to the idea and may not have a palette for it, but for the connoisseurs, it is a known and tried food delicacy,” adds Kuldeep.
Malini when asked about the Sourdough trend said, “Sourdough created a storm in the market and is here to stay. Given its versatility and certain health benefits, why wouldn’t it? Not only does it produce great textured and deeply flavored bread, but can also be used in absolutely any dish that calls for leavening. Right from pancakes and cookies to savories in any cuisine and, in fact, even cakes and pastries. Bangalore might be new to this concept that has been around for ages across the globe, but people are surely getting comfortable with it at a rather fast pace and it is slowly, but steadily earning its place on the bakery shelves.”
Not a threat, at all
There has always been a debate about the age of bakeries and their innovation being a threat to the classic slew of Iyengar and ‘Malayali’ bakeries. When asked about it Viveq said, “Both cater to very different segments of the market. The new age bakeries cater to niche clientele as they are expensive compared to regular products because artisanal products take a much longer time to produce compared to regular commercial mass products. And only people who follow a different lifestyle (gluten-free/organic / plant-based) get catered by such organizations.”
“Today’s consumers have more culinary awareness than before, which leads me to believe that Iyengar bakeries are not a “threat” to new age bakeries or vice versa. The population demands and craves unique quality products that can entice their taste buds in the best way possible. Bangalore has an abundance of consumers who are accepting the plethora of flavor combinations and baked goods introduced into the Indian market from around the world. This being said, old is gold. Iyengar bakeries will never be forgotten in India, especially South India, but will live amongst the new-age bakeries. People love to explore new flavors and food, but like to come back to taste nostalgia once in a while too,” said Malini.
Plant-based is a choice
With the increasing popularity of veganism, plant-based food has become a new rage. To cater to the vegans and vegetarians, brands are innovating recipes. “The palette and dietary culture of the market is evolving for the better. And with this, it is quite understandable that it opens up new market avenues for the creative bakers to cater to. I am thrilled to see us breaking the stereotype mindset and moving forward. The cuisine is always supposed to evolve and it is taking its due course with the trends,” said Viveq when asked about his opinion about plant-based alternatives made to the shelves of the stores.
“With people’s ever-increasing knowledge and interest in experiencing and taking up plant-based diets, I think it is becoming quite important for bakers and patissiers to experiment and create with ingredients that are plant-based alternatives to our regular ingredients. Although products made with conventional ingredients are classics that will never be replaced completely, uses of plant-based alternatives are churning out some outstanding and rather interesting products that have found their fan following in the Indian market today,” added Malini Menon.
With the increased consumption rates, consumers are actively looking for gluten-free items or baked goods manufactured with other components like whole-wheat and multigrain. Flavour innovation is crucial since, in addition to healthier alternatives, Millennials in particular are always looking for new flavors and experiences.
Also, due to their busy lifestyles, Indian customers place a high value on convenience, Hence the bakery industry is flourishing like never before. The industry has never been out of business, from old charms like Iyengar Bakeries, and Bunny Bakery, to Bakers Dozen and Concu, the industry proves to be trending in business.