8 Top Bakery & Bread Trends We Love in 2021

Who doesn’t think of donuts when they hear the word bakery? We smell the coffee and see the bakery & bread trays lined with those circles of goodness. While we enjoy our sugary circles, more of us are focusing on eating healthier. There’s even a National Donut Day — June 4, 2021.

According to an International Food Information Council 2021 survey, one in five respondents considered health benefits when looking at food. Almost 30% defined healthy foods as those high in nutritional value, using whole grains with high fiber. These statistics are good news for bakeries, many of which already focus on the following trends.


More consumers are shifting to plant-based foods. SPINS reports that sales of plant-based foods were up 29% in 2020. For bakery & bread companies, that means finding ways to replicate texture, flavor, and bulk while removing dairy ingredients.

Reduced Sugar

Americans continue to avoid or limit foods with high-sugar content. According to the IFIC’s 2021 survey, over 70% of respondents consider reducing sugar necessary for healthy diets. Many bakeries and bread makers are finding ways to add bulking ingredients to improve the sweetness and texture of bakery goods while reducing sugars.

Added Protein

About 60% of consumers, according to the IFIC’s survey, are trying to consume more protein because it’s considered more filling. Adding protein often results in drier baked goods. Finding ways to compensate for less moisture is a challenge for bakers. Using liquid sweeteners such as honey or corn syrup can add moistness; however, the added ingredients impact the gluten structure, which changes the volume and texture of bread and other baked foods.

Lower Carbohydrates

Removing carbohydrates from bakery goods is not new; however, the focus on low-carb, high-fat keto diets has increased the demand for low-carbohydrate foods. Bakers trim carbs by replacing flour with high-fiber, modified starches. Bran, for example, provides bulk but competes with gluten for water absorption. Combining the added fiber with water to maintain moisture and texture forms the basis for quality, low-carbohydrate bread.

Increased Fiber

Whole grains provide fiber and are frequently added to baked goods to address the growing awareness of fiber as an element of a healthy diet. The IFIC survey found that over 30% of consumers wanted their bread to have increased fiber. Part of the desire for high-fiber baked goods comes from the artisan bread market and the increased number of online baking blogs. This raised awareness is pushing the bakery industry to explore alternative flours such as spelt.


Recent market research found that gluten-free bakery goods will likely grow at a CAGR of 11.24% through 2024. The shift towards gluten-free is a result of:

  • Consumer perception that gluten-free is healthier.
  • Consumer perception that gluten-free can help with weight management.
  • Increase in celiac disease in the worldwide population.
  • Consumer demand for variety in eating experiences.

Although consumers may embrace gluten-free goods, they are unwilling to decrease their eating options.

Organic and Sustainable

Consumers focus on organic foods; however, they are more aware that not all organic foods are really organic. Bakeries will need to provide certification of traceability in the ingredients used in their products. They will also need to establish responsible sourcing policies to ensure that all suppliers are treated fairly.  

Sustainable and environmental claims have value to younger shoppers. They see food suppliers as responsible for maintaining environmentally safe growing conditions that can be sustained through reduced carbon footprints. Consumers will gravitate to bakeries that demonstrate social responsibility in how they source, supply, and deliver baked goods.

Improved Efficiencies

As the industry addresses these industry trends, they cannot overlook operational efficiencies that provide a competitive edge. Flexcon offers commercial bakery racks, baskets, and trays with unmatched durability at a low cost. Facility and distribution networks benefit from trays, dollies, pallets, and milk crates that reduce storage space when not in use. 

Our products allow customers to manage and track trays using labels. These products are ergonomically designed with 100% reusable and recyclable materials. These sustainable features ensure an environmentally friendly operation. Custom colors and hot stamping are available for brand awareness, and RFID capabilities can improve warehousing and distribution. Contact the experts at Flexcon to discuss how to improve operations and the environment.