Sowing the Seeds of Change in Bread11 Nov 2014
Bread has an image problem. Across Europe, a significant proportion of consumers (as high as 48% in the UK and Italy) state that bread is not an option for those trying to lose weight and even more (54% in Italy and 48% in the UK and Spain) believe sliced bread contains too many artificial preservatives. […]
Bread has an image problem. Across Europe, a significant proportion of consumers (as high as 48% in the UK and Italy) state that bread is not an option for those trying to lose weight and even more (54% in Italy and 48% in the UK and Spain) believe sliced bread contains too many artificial preservatives. Boosting the health appeal of bread to drive increased consumption is therefore a priority.
In such an environment, positioning bread as healthier and more natural through the use of nutrient-boosting ingredients such as seeds, ancient grains and fruits is an increasingly popular tactic. Indeed, in 2014 bread made with seeds has accounted for one in five of all launches globally, having consistently grown in recent years. Such development meets the consumer interest in added health attributes: 35% of Germans rate fibre as an important factor when buying bread, for example, while 33% of UK consumers are interested in trying baked goods that contain more fibre.
Germany, the US, Canada and the UK are the markets where most seeded bread innovation has taken place. Germany especially has traditionally been a market where bread with seeds has done well: in 2013, 77% of German bread consumers were eating multigrain bread, including bread with different seed toppings, whilst in the UK 40% were eating granary/multigrain bread, including seeded varieties.
With the number of bread products containing seeds growing, the variety of seeds being used is widening. Sesame seeds, linseeds (flaxseeds) and sunflower seeds account for the majority of seeds used; however, other seed types are also coming into play. Poppy, psyllium, cumin and especially chia seeds have seen significant growth in usage in recent years.
Poppy and cumin seeds are a good source of minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, manganese and iron as well as vitamin B. Psyllium seed husk is fibre-rich and is thus often promoted for weight control and for general intestinal health. Chia seeds, meanwhile, have an excellent nutritional profile, containing numerous minerals and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as being high in fibre and protein.
The launches of bread containing chia seeds in recent years have been concentrated in the Americas and Australasia. Given that Latin America and Australia are where the seed is commercially grown and the US has a familiarity with the seed already, this is perhaps unsurprising. However, their continuing lack of usage in Europe is surprising, given that the UK and Germany are two key markets for seeded bread innovation. Chia seeds were approved in 2009 as a novel food in the EU for use in bread products.
So far, in the UK at least, a launch under the Burgen brand of a sunflower and chia seed bread in 2012 remains the most high profile. However, chia seeds are starting to be seen in a wider range of products, including breakfast cereals and snacks following European approval in 2013 for their use in these products under an application by Australia’s The Chia Company. With other applications for such approval having also been granted in 2014, the market could soon be exposed to more chia-containing foodstuffs which should provide greater incentive to use them in bread as well.
Additives in US food products up 10% since 2001
18 Jul 2023
New research revealed that 60% of foods purchased by Americans contained technical food additives as of 2019, which was a 10% increase since 2001.Read more
Industry first: The Netherlands approves cultivated meat and seafood tastings
17 Jul 2023
The Netherlands has become the first country in Europe to approve tastings of cultivated meat and seafood in controlled environments, yet there is still a long way to go before widescale commercialisation is achieved.Read more
One-fifth of Brazilian whey protein products mislabelled
12 Jul 2023
One fifth of whey protein products sold in Brazil are mislabelled, according to one small survey, as the Latin American trade association ALANUR calls on authorities to act against brands that inappropriately advertise the nutritional attributes of the...Read more
New Nordic nutrition guidelines emphasise plant-based eating
11 Jul 2023
Nordic scientists and experts are now recommending that people should consume less meat and more plants for both their health and the health of the planet.Read more
Manufacturers await groundbreaking aspartame safety review
10 Jul 2023
The WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is preparing to release its findings on whether the sweetener aspartame is a possible carcinogen.Read more
Food sector pushes unhealthy choices on consumers, new report shows
7 Jul 2023
Regulators and retailers must take action to prevent European consumers from being led to make unhealthy food choices, experts say.Read more
How to revive stagnating plant-based meat sales
6 Jul 2023
Sales of plant-based meat are stagnating, products are being withdrawn, and brands are declaring bankruptcy – but Rabobank’s RaboResearch has identified five strategies that could help revive the category, and precision fermentation could be an NPD gam...Read more
UK consumer trust in supermarkets falls to nine-year-low
5 Jul 2023
Research by UK consumer review organisation, Which?, reports decreasing levels of trust in the food industry, with two-thirds of shoppers feeling ripped off.Read more
UK retailers flout unhealthy product regulation
4 Jul 2023
UK retailers are continuing to promote unhealthy products that are high in fat, salt, and sugar (HFSS) despite recent regulation that bans such practices.Read more
Are Dutch supermarkets committed to human rights?
3 Jul 2023
Dutch supermarkets lack widespread measures to respect human rights in supply chains, research project Superlist Social's inaugural report finds.Read more