Amrin Walji
Amrin is a Senior Innovation Analyst who specialises in analysing trends driving product innovation and development across the food and drink industry.

As consumers cut their consumption of carbs, brands need to make bread memorable – or at least healthier – through vivid colours, ethnic flavours and better-for-you versions.

Colourful vegetable bread

Bakery products containing vegetables are a strong way for brands to tap into interest in positive nutrition. Using brightly coloured veggies, such as carrot or beetroot, makes the vegetable content more tangible and helps to provide an overall flavour boost. Despite this, vegetable-based bread currently remains niche in Europe at 6% of all bread launches in the last year, according to Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD).

Leivon Leipomo Flat Rye Bread with Root Vegetables, launched in Finland, is 30% made with vegetables including beetroot, carrot and parsnip. While Brazil’s Fhom Veg Super Thin Toasts’ green, pink and orange hues come from spinach, beetroot and carrot. Catering to raw and paleo diets, Raw Wraps Spinach Soft Tacos (USA) are made with four simple ingredients: apples, spinach, onions and psyllium.

Low carbs

Cutting down on carbohydrates has become popular in recent years as many adopt diets that encourage higher intake of proteins and vegetables. Health-related concerns are key barriers to more frequent consumption of bread. As a response, bread producers are shifting their efforts towards positive nutrition in the hope to connect with health-conscious consumers.

Hovis has introduced a range of naturally low carbohydrate breads in the UK: Softy and Tasty White, Tasty Wholemeal, and Deliciously Seeded. Each loaf is said to contain 30% less carbohydrates than ordinary loaves, as well as added wheat protein and fibre. Another notable example is cauliflower crust pizza, a popular low-carb recipe on Instagram and food blogs. A packaged version has been launched in Canada by Caulipower, founded by the mum of two gluten-intolerant children to provide them with delicious alternatives to carbs.

World flavours

As ethnic restaurants and street food stalls take over the foodservice scene, world cuisines can expand usage occasions for bread and bread products. Specifically, cuisines with a ‘dip culture’ (eg Spanish, Mexican, Indian and Middle Eastern) could help drive demand for specific bread types.

Santa Maria Street Food Kingston Style Coconut & Pepper Tortillas are described as soft, thin tortillas with a delicious coconut flavour and a hint of pepper. The tortillas are said to be ideal for Jamaican jerk tacos and feature a recipe suggestion. They’re likely to appeal to consumers seeking fun, adventurous and customisable food solutions. Tesco Finest Ras El Hanout Flatbread (UK) is said to be bursting with authentic North African flavours, featuring sweet raisins, apricots and a blend of nine spices. And to prove that the definition of ‘exotic’ changes in every country, South Korean Sajo Royal Pretzel looks to Bavaria for inspiration for this microwaveable, chocolaty-filled pretzel.