MINNEAPOLIS – Indulgence remains the most important purchase trigger for cake, pastry and cookies, according to a Cargill survey of 1,200 US consumers. The respondents showed interest in health as well and said they were willing to pay more for indulgent items that are healthier.

Fifty-four percent of the respondents said they choose bakery products to satisfy cravings, and 44% said they purchased the items as a reward.

When asked whether ingredient lists, nutritional information or package claims influenced their bakery purchases, 42% said ingredients were influential, which was followed by nutrition scores at 39% and specific product claims at 28%. The biggest unmet needs included products that deliver portion control, balance taste and health, supply energy boosts without sugar crashes, and offer greater satiety, especially in the cookie and pastry categories.

The respondents associated premium indulgence in cakes as being all natural, having no artificial ingredients and having traceable ingredients. They sought rich, creamy and buttery textures. Leading ingredients were cocoa powder and butter.

“This research gives us very specific insights and will help us deliver a more focused innovation roadmap for our customers,” said Camiel van Beek, bakery category leader for Cargill’s global edible oil solutions group. “With it, we can help customers match consumer preferences around textures, claims and ingredients by application and even daypart, then leverage our ingredient and application expertise to develop products that will resonate in the marketplace.”