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Kennedy's Bakery Production Magazine | May 29, 2020

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How do consumers perceive bread, and what role do ingredients play in that perception?

How do consumers perceive bread, and what role do ingredients play in that perception?

In many countries, bread is practically a synonym for food. What had been a much appreciated but rather simple food staple in the past is now a matter of course with hundreds of varieties, plenty of consumption occasions and clear differences by country and consumer.

For bakery and ingredient industries, it is crucial to understand consumer patterns, bread preferences, and the role of ingredients to be able to launch the right initiatives to the right target audiences.

Kynetec b2, a market research agency specializing in Food Business, has interviewed 2,000 bread consumers across Germany and the United Kingdom, focusing on four key questions:

  • What associations do bread consumers make when thinking of bread types (white, whole wheat, brown/grey, multigrain etc.) and bread ingredients, and how important are they?
  • What rational, emotional and behavioural factors drive the appraisal of different bread types?
  • What comes first in people’s mind: bread type or specific bread ingredients?
  • What kind of “bread consumers” exist and what is their potential?

An innovative combination of market research techniques demonstrated that in both Germany and the United Kingdom, bread consumers mainly think in terms of taste and health benefits, but also naturalness and tradition of different bread types. Especially German consumers are interested in bread ingredients, but consumers in the UK also have outspoken views on different bread ingredients.

In fact, many use their views as a starting point to consider or reject certain types of bread. Another finding relates to salt as an ingredient. The positive perception of salt in the context of bread is remarkable, especially when comparing views on sugar and fat as bread ingredients. Even though it is the most popular bread type in the UK, the appraisal of white bread is lower (in both countries) than whole wheat, brown/grey or multigrain bread.

Pieter Goossens, Senior Research Director of Kynetec b2, commented, “As an expert research agency in Food Business, we wanted to inspire the bakery and ingredients industries with clear insights on bread as a product as well as its components, and identify opportunities for marketers and R&D based on consumers’ perceptions.”

Simone Cornelsen, also Senior Director at Kynetec b2, added, “Living in Germany inspires me each day about the richness of the bakery sector, but people should also not forget about the important role that UK has played in the history of industrial baking. It was intriguing to dig into the differences and commonalities of both countries.”