How to Have a Successful Product in the Bread Aisle in 2022

How can a nation be great if its bread tastes like Kleenex?” asked American TV chef and author Julia Child. The answer? It can’t be. And consumers are very much in agreement. 

The bread business is booming, and there is an abundance of options available in the bread aisle. But with so many options on offer, how can brands earn pride of place in the bread aisle in 2022? 

By changing. Thre’s a clear opportunity to take the bread aisle by storm with healthy, purpose-driven, and ethical products. Consumers are shifting. And bread brands need to pivot with them. By developing products with the current marketplace in mind, whilst also being innovative with their products and marketing, brands can take the marketplace by storm.

Let’s take a look at the current landscape to see what will help your brand’s loaves fly off the shelves at the grocery store!

A flat lay of indie-looking bread — guaranteed to have standout in most grocery aisles

What does the current landscape look like?

Grocery CPG (consumer packaged goods) sales increased during COVID, and bread was no exception, out-competing other baked products — even cakes. Overall, dollars spent per grocery trip increased during COVID and has stayed high, and bread is ahead of the curve. Notably, consumers are reaching for gourmet and premium brands more than ever before. 

Compared to the commercial bakery scene, the CPG Bread market is still relatively fragmented. 

There are a multitude of brands and no one dominant operator, so there’s always room for more. 

Current consumer trends in the bread aisle

Today’s consumers seek healthier options, for themselves, their families, and for future generations. They are more in tune with the benefits of organically produced foods and regenerative agriculture as well as other health-positive products and ingredients.

At the same time, small CPGs have continued to take the market share from their bigger rivals across all aspects of the grocery market.

So what does this mean for trends in the bread aisle?

  • Premiumization 

Consumers are looking for higher quality ingredients and are willing to pay extra for food and beverages that offer a little extra indulgence. They may find this through specific ingredients, supplements, rustic or traditional styling, or handcrafted packaging.

  • Health and nutrition

Offering choices that tune in to consumers’ increasing savvy health consciousness is a win off the bat in 2022. 

For bread, research tells us that consumers are looking for minimally processed, lower additive products rich in protein and other micro-nutrients are the way to go. Combined with artisan techniques and the use of heritage or ancient grains — and highlighting the associated health benefits through smart marketing.

  • Sustainability/ethics

Sustainability, specifically, is on the rise — consumers are increasingly environmentally conscious. Manifestations of this trend range from 'clean label', 'free from', 'natural', and 'organic' to increasing demand for smaller packs or portion sizes to reduce food waste, and environmentally friendly packaging. 

To make waves in the current market you’ll need to offer premium, artisan, ethically, and environmentally sound products with clear health benefits. More than that, to stand out in the aisle the benefits will need to be clear on your purpose, and your values and be able to communicate these easily.

Oooh, the most premium looking of bread. Dark, rye dough in front of a black, silk curtain

Innovative bread brands that are standing out

There are plenty of innovative brands on the market to take inspiration from.

  • Artisanal bread brand,  Inked Bread also makes a line of popular vegan keto bread and a wide variety of organic options. Inked sources their non-GMO, heirloom grains from farmers with whom they’ve cultivated strong relationships and uses only trusted millers and bakers to ensure the high quality of their premium products.

  • Alvardo St. Bakery is a veteran player in the bread game. Based in Northern California’s Sonoma wine country, now a worker-owned co-op, Alvardo has focused heavily on whole grain, organic, and non-GMO ingredients since their founding in the 1970s.
  • Bakkers Bread Co. is owned and operated by the Bakker family, who have such a deep lineage in baking that their name is taken from an even older form of the word “baker.” They specialize in health-conscious bread products that are few and far between—especially those suited for people with diabetes like low-carb and keto.

  • Sourdough specialist, Grateful Bread, takes a particular interest in keeping its methods as traditional as possible. Using a 32-year-old sourdough mother, their loaves undergo a three-day starter-to-oven fermentation and baking process and never contain preservatives.

  • Bakery On Main — a leader in manufacturing gluten-free granola, oatmeal, and granola bars—is always quickly adapting to the market. They consistently launch new products that boast certifications such as NON-GMO Project Verified, Certified Gluten-free, OU Kosher, and Keto Certified.
  • Meanwhile, artisan bakery  Canyon Bakehouse, which specializes in gluten-free products, uses eye-catching graphics to stand out in the supermarket aisles. They have incorporated a larger call-out to “Gluten-Free” built into the logo, to make sure customers can spot them easily.
  • Canadian brand  Silver Hills Bakery has also made a huge impact on the US market with its innovative sprouted bread. "We regularly hear from many people who gave up bread due to digestive issues but are able to eat our sprouted bread, giving them a healthy source of energy," reports Stan Smith, co-founder, and President of Silver Hills. 

So what?

The fragmented nature of the baked goods CPG market means there continues to be a wealth of opportunity for small independent brands that have a unique offering. 

Whether you’re bringing a premium product to market, leaning into environmental and ethically-aware consumers, or just having a really tasty product, the research shows that modern customers are open to new things.  

There’s a clear opportunity to take the bread aisle by storm with healthy, purpose-driven, and ethical products — will you take it?

Are you ready to get your bread into the bread aisle?

When you’re looking to stand out in a crowded market, it’s good to find partners who understand your inspiration, your ethos, and your objectives.

Here at Buffalo Market, we have a long history of helping independent brands make waves and we are a leading distributor of mission-driven food and beverage products. 

We work hard to get your healthy, sustainable CPG products out to a bigger audience — let’s raise the profile of your bread brand together.

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