LAS VEGAS - Changes in government and politics along with advances in technology and the media are affecting consumer behavior in ways that are shaping key consumer trends heading into the next years, said Jennifer LaPaugh, senior director, regional and artisanal channel marketing, Dawn Foods.

LaPaugh explained that myriad major political changes in countries such as the United States, Mexico and the U.K. in recent years are affecting consumers directly and causing a heightened level of uncertainty. While constant connection to technology and media are adding to this stress, LaPaugh said they also provide a host of positive attributes such as allowing people to bond on a broader scale socially and gain more access to global information. Together, these fundamental forces are fueling eight trends that LaPaugh detailed in her presentation, “Consumer Trends Every Bakery Should Know.”

LaPaugh explained that one of those trends, called “Blissful Indulgence,” describes how people are looking for opportunities to disconnect and reduce stress and anxiety through personalized, highly indulgent sweet goods or desserts that provide a “momentary escape” from reality.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, “Enlightened Eating” reflects how people not only want food with great taste but also want to balance it with products free from artificial ingredients and loaded with nutrients that “fuel their bodies and support a health-conscious lifestyle,” she said.

Meanwhile, “Just for Me” reflects how personal connections are more important today to combat a sense of mass production and technology taking over their lives.

“People are really seeking to have personal connections, whether it’s with another person, a company or a brand,” LaPaugh said.

These and other trends — “Mashup Adventure,” “My Food ID,” “Transparency 360,” “Twenty-five 7” and “#Eatertainment” — are highlighted at Dawn’s booth along with recipes that “demonstrate how to bring these trends to life in bakeries,” she said.

LaPaugh added that Dawn’s marketing and insights teams developed its list of consumer trends for 2020 through harnessing more than 75 data sources and reviewing more than 100 new products and services across the globe. After “pressure testing” an initial round of 30 trends to ensure their validity, she noted, the marketing group condensed and combined them into the eight trends for next year to inspire innovative ideas and thinking for bakers and drive their business forward.