The Covid-19 pandemic has seen the rise and fall of bakery trends throughout the lockdown period. The reality is that the impact of these trends will remain even after the pandemic is no longer present.
From our perspective, we’ve identified the following trends that have impacted the bakery industry.
The second pandemic
While not exclusive to the bakery industry, the bakery industry has been affected.
We had to find a way to keep our factory running and our staff employed; we couldn’t contribute to the growing unemployment rates.
Our inspiration came from a client’s mission to curb the subsequent pandemic that materialised through Covid – hunger. It resulted in Knead and Rise, an initiative that saw the donation of an estimated 90 000 bread rolls thus far to feeding and relief schemes across the Cape metro area.
Through this initiative, we could power up our machines, bring our staff back to work while trying to mitigate the reach of this fast-growing second pandemic. The initiative is something we wish to continue indefinitely.
New government regulations
The constant increase in the intensity and threat of Covid brought about strict government regulations in respect of hygiene. While the bakery industry is required to display a high level of hygiene in general, the need for implementing hygienic requirements following these new regulations was of great importance.
The industry has a social responsibility and moral obligation to ensure that products are produced under strict hygiene conditions – we must take care to ensure that this remains a focal point throughout the pandemic and beyond.
As our bakery is HACCP accredited, the implementation of these regulations posed no additional problems, with only Corona-centric training needing to be provided to staff.
Food waste and sustainability
Constrained cashflow meant that cost-saving techniques, efficiency programs and process optimization played a significant role in controlling waste and improving efficiencies. SKU rationalization was also undertaken, controlling the overall level of waste. It further assisted in being able to streamline production while maintaining and improving quality.
A negative trend that emerged through the pandemic is the call for individually bagged products. It translates to a rising level of single-use plastic. The reality is that more importance gets placed on hygiene than the well-being of our environment. We want to emphasise the importance of recycling and to encourage individuals to please do so when discarding any packaging.
The survival of the clean label trend
The term ‘clean label’ originated in the 1980s and has been a demand from consumer’s ever since.
However, the effects of the pandemic may overshadow this trend for a while post-pandemically, as the focus is currently on hygiene, saving costs, and perceived quality.
In the future, we believe the clean label trend will be a focus once more due to its historical presence.
We pride ourselves on clean label production in many of our lines. We continue to incorporate this into our ongoing product development, and as the demand calls for it once again.
The re-emergence of artisanal stores
The pandemic has likely accelerated the decline of in-store bakeries in major supermarket chains. With the growing shortage of skill and bakery expertise in the industry, the demand for outsourcing consistent, high-quality bakery products is sure to rise – hopefully giving rise to supermarkets supporting local, skilled manufactures.
We’ll begin to see a re-emergence of artisanal stores within local communities. Community relationships will strengthen, developing a desire to support local businesses. It was something that we saw at the beginning of lockdown through our retail store, Coimbra Bakery.
It’s important to acknowledge the far-reaching positive effects that supporting local has on a community as a whole and that this should become a way of life, not just a trend during the pandemic
With the constant uncertainty, one thing remains clear: To remain operational, adaption to these trends is important – and while they won’t be around indefinitely, they are an indication of how the industry is to move forward in months to come.