As consumer behaviour continues to evolve in the baking industry through transformative recent years, Bakels global insights supported by Innova Market Insights give bakers the knowledge they need to grow their business. We have pulled together some of the latest trends to consider when making decisions for 2023.


People are exploring possible ways to live and eat more healthily, balancing enjoyment with the necessities of daily life. With COVID still here, consumers of all ages are placing increased emphasis on feeling safe, well and guarding their resources. This means taking a greater interest in looking after their physical and mental health, as well as their homes and finances.

People are also taking a growing interest in the planet’s health and wellbeing, from Gen X’s and Millennials to older generations, and doing their bit to manage their environmental impact. At the same time people are actively harnessing new technologies in all aspects of their lives, and we are more informed and connected than ever. The quest for craftsmanship and authenticity has sparked 52% to seek fresh products, 31% looking for locally produced products, 30% open to products which boost physical health and 30% seeking environmentally friendly goods.


Stemming from our intensified focus on mental wellness, consumption of sweet goods has migrated from something invoking guilt, to an outlet to inspire a “feel good” moment and essential to a balanced lifestyle. There is opportunity to adjust portion sizes to maintain the level of indulgence consumers are craving, with research showing 1 in 2 choose smaller treats they can consume. After health and holidays, socialising with family and friends is an important use of discretionary income for 30 per cent of consumers, and 28 per cent globally say sharing food with family and friends is a top-3 eating value.


At Bakels we track ingredient and flavour trends in bakery, and what’s clearest of all is that variety is key and will remain so going into 2023. Younger generations are exploring fresh and innovative ingredients, while also exciting their memories of comfort foods with fresh new flavour experiences. What’s old is new again!

Across the age groups the flavour aspects most influencing consumer food and beverage choices reflect our desire for a blend of new sensations and nostalgia. Familiar flavours come top (47%) in Innova’s research, followed by traditional and nostalgic flavours (37%).  Comforting flavours are next (34%), then new, unique and different flavours (26%). Mood enhancing flavours are significant for many shoppers (24%), while seasonal and limited-edition flavours (23%) and interesting and exotic flavour combinations (22%) remain important for many.

Also highlighted in the research, “more variety and novelty available” is a reason 34 per cent of category consumers give for increasing cake, pastry and sweet goods consumption. Meanwhile shoppers also pay homage to traditional and authentic recipes they love and trust, hence seasonal and limited-edition flavours offer opportunities in sweet bakery, with 13 per cent seeking these out within the category.


As we settle into the new normal, there are changes in what we value and are prepared to spend our time and money on. Innova Market Insights identifies this as “redefining value” and highlights it as a key trend moving into 2023. The shifting economic context in recent months, with high energy bills, rising prices and uncertainty about what lies ahead, as well as being conscious of the planet are all major factors in consumer choices, as people prioritise what matters to them and juggle safeguarding their health and wellbeing.

Although today’s shoppers are increasingly exploring money-saving strategies, they still want to enjoy new experiences, so bakers will need to navigate the balance between delivering value while meeting consumer expectations, as for 1 in 2 consumers the cost and value for money have become important when making their food choices.



Technology has transformed the entire consumer eating experience. From selection of food choices via QR codes or touch screens, to post-consumption expression via social media channels, there is a digital aspect at every step of the consumption process, which will only accelerate through 2023.

The integration of digital features is as important for manufacturers as bakers. Our digital buying behaviours as consumers overlaps to our working lives, so we expect quick and informative ways to gather information and source ingredients. It’s clear that digital technology must be brought into the eating experience to remain relevant in the digital world. Meanwhile Innova’s 2021 trend survey shows a further 2 in 5 consumers globally are more open to new technologies, now that they’ve seen where it has brought plant-based innovation.

Data: Innova 2021 – Trends Survey 2021, Innova Lifestyle & Attitudes Survey 2022, Innova 2022 – Flavour Insider: Trends in Fruit Flavours September (average 11 countries & global), Innova 2023 – Balancing Priorities.