More and more consumers are turning to flatbreads and wraps to diversify their sandwich, snack and meal options, and suppliers are responding with new products catering to the latest dietary and culinary trends.

For the first time ever, Paterson, N.J.-based Kontos Foods is marketing one of its flatbreads at retail as a gyro bread, said Warren Stoll, the company’s marketing director.

Consumers have long used Kontos flatbreads in gyros but the packs they bought them at their grocery store never had the “gyro” name on them.

The 5-count gyro packs are rolling out to Kontos’s retail partners this summer, Stoll said. Kontos has traditionally shipped 10-count packs to its foodservice customers.

Anecdotally, Stoll received confirmation of the company’s decision to bring a gyro-specific pack to retail on a recent trip to New York City, where many street vendors sell gyros using Kontos gyro bread.

“I think it was at the corner of 52nd Street and 6th Avenue. The line for chicken and beef gyros was halfway down the street. I was like, ‘Wow, look at this!’”

Consumers across the US, not just in New York, continue to broaden their food horizons, Stoll said, which benefits companies like Kontos.

“Our products, and the flatbread category as a whole, is growing, and the number one reason is that consumers are continuing to become more and more global,” Stoll said.

Post-COVID, people have gotten out to see the world again, and travels abroad often lead to culinary changes when they get back to their own kitchens, Stoll said. “People are looking for exotic products that are outside the norm, creative and tasty.”

That post-COVID travel surge may be ebbing a bit, Stoll said, which could be even more of a boon for sales of flatbreads at the retail level, as consumers try to recreate the dishes they ate overseas at home.

Kontos’s Rustics Collection line of naan breads, introduced in 2022, is one beneficiary and is enjoying strong growth, Stoll said.

The line includes traditional tandoori, garlic and pre-grilled pizza crust.  The oval-shaped naan flatbreads come in a two-count resealable pack. They’re baked on the sides of tandoori ovens, which gives them their unique shape.

Also in 2022, Kontos introduced the first flavored variety — garlic — to its Greek Lifestyle brand of flatbreads, which have fewer carbs (about half) and more protein (about double) than typical flatbreads. A year later, it’s another product that is seeing big growth for the company, Stoll said.

The higher-protein product is aimed at aligning with the popular Mediterranean diet, Stoll said. Greek Lifestyle breads also have less sugar and fewer calories than other flatbreads.

Keeping up with dietary trends

Ridgefield, N.J.-based Toufayan Bakeries’ hearth-baked flatbreads are available in white or whole wheat, and the company offer multiple flavors of our soft and foldable wraps — including a gluten-free line, said Karen Toufayan, vice president of marketing.

In addition, both products are now available in a keto-friendly recipe, creating a delicious offering for people following that diet, she added.

“We’re always continuing to innovate and expand our offerings.  The addition of our keto line earlier this year has driven amazing sales for both our wraps and flatbreads.”

Pita bread will always be Toufayan’s flagship product, but the addition of wraps and flatbreads to its product roster gives consumers more choices when following a certain diet and an opportunity to create even more delicious meals, Toufayan said

Marketing efforts for all products leans on aggressive social media campaigns and advertising with creative recipe ideas and influencer reviews.

The flatbread and wrap categories have enjoyed significant growth and evolving trends in recent years, Toufayan said. Consumers are increasingly seeking healthier and more diverse options in their diet, leading to a surge in demand for flatbreads and wraps as versatile alternatives to traditional bread and sandwich options.

In addition, the rise in global cuisine popularity, Toufayan said, has fueled the demand for authentic, ethnic flavors and ingredients in these products.

“With the market becoming more competitive, companies like Toufayan have been at the forefront of innovation, ensuring we stay ahead of these trends.”

In addition to innovative product offerings, the company’s success can also be attributed to creative product marketing and personalized retailer support, she added.

Toufayan has effectively communicated the health benefits, convenience, and versatility of its flatbreads and wraps through various marketing channels, including social media campaigns, recipe collaborations, and influencer partnerships. “We’ve also established strong relationships with retailers, understanding the specific needs and preferences of different markets,” she said. “By providing tailored support and guidance, we ensure that our products are readily available and prominently displayed, increasing not only brand visibility but also customer satisfaction.”

  • 10% of restaurants offer flatbread on their menus.
  • The fastest rising consumer need for flatbread is snacking.
  • The dominant diet for flatbread is vegan.

Source: Tastewise