Health, indulgence, and portion size are top drivers of consumer purchases at instore bakeries, as evidenced by findings in What’s in Store 2015, the twenty-ninth edition of the annual food industry and consumer trends publication of the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association (IDDBA).

Among the highlights of the bakery chapter:

Consumers look at product presentation, freshness, taste, and selection when shopping the in-store bakery.

Indulgence, health benefits, and single-serve options are top trends in today’s in-store bakeries.

Smaller-sized products are driving more frequent and diverse trips to in-store bakeries than larger, special occasion products.

Household size and age are prominent factors impacting in-store bakery sales. Hispanic shoppers are an important demographic for in-store bakeries, while Millennials create sales opportunities due to their quick-trip shopping patterns.

Consumers are seeking bakery products made with high fiber and fresh and whole grains, while avoiding high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, and hydrogenated fats.

The demand for gluten-free products is spurring the use of ingredients such as rice flours, corn flour and meal, ancient grains, and tubers and pulses.

New waves of hybrid products continue to hit the scene, as well as new twists on nostalgic, traditional sweets.

Lynn Brotzman, associate client manager, Nielsen Perishables Group, told IDDBA that consumer-perceived health benefits are driving variety in bakery products. “We’re seeing greater use of super-foods in bakery products, such as pomegranate and chia seeds, especially in breakfast bakery,” she said. “Gluten-free breads, rolls, and muffins are also generating interest.”

One group that’s especially drawn to healthier food options in the bakery department are Millennials, according to IDDBA’s original research, Engaging the Evolving Shopper: Serving the New American Appetite. “As Millennials are 50% more likely than Boomers to place an importance on digestion-related health claims such as gluten- or lactose-free, in-store bakeries should focus on the cues of whole grains, gluten-free products, authenticity, and freshly-baked items and healthy snacks that deliver an image of greater relevance for the Millennial shopper,” according to Eric Richard, education coordinator, IDDBA. “This can be achieved through visual impressions and department signs, which have a high interest among Millennials."