Consumers tend to seek out higher quality products, artisan ingredients and ethical qualities when purchasing products in the pastry category, according to new research from Fedima, the Federation of European Manufacturers and Suppliers of Ingredients to the Bakery, Confectionery and Patisserie Industries.
Fedima teamed up with the Kirona agency on the research, which sought to determine the key motivators and barriers that drive consumers when choosing to purchase Viennese pastries, cakes, and fine pastries.
Research was carried out in France, Germany and the UK.
It found that consumers were inclined towards quality products that 'satisfy them in a healthy way without compromising taste', while also expressing concern about ultra-processed foods.
In addition, the visual aspect of cakes and pastries was another purchase driver, with shoppers seeking out 'slightly shiny' products when purchasing Viennese pastries, a 'fresh appearance' when shopping for cakes, and 'attractive colours' when purchasing fine pastries.
Consumer Need States
As well as satisfying hunger, a number of consumer need states were also revealed by the research, including treats, indulgence, joy, comfort, a 'break from the ordinary', compensation, and versatility.
The research found that fine pastries tended to be associated with 'moments of indulgence and treats for oneself and the whole family', while Viennese pastries are linked to 'energy, a treat, and comfort'.
Cakes, meanwhile, are seen as an 'everyday pleasure' in France, 'answering needs of indulgence and of energy', while in Germany, cakes fulfil a role in 'social gatherings, [as] an everyday pleasure for an afternoon coffee break, [and] satisfying needs of indulgence'.
In the UK, cakes mainly satisfy cravings for sweetness, the research found, with cake-like bars and buns gaining prominence in the market as convenient, on-the-go options.
The research also outlined potential opportunities for improvement in the pastry category, including 'adding a twist of modernity' to long-established recipes; experimenting with 'unique flavours' and textures; further development of the premium subcategory; and developing further areas of convenience, such as individually-wrapped products.