Taste Tomorrow's ongoing semantic AI research shows that there is a lot of searching and talking going on online about vegetable-based sweet patisserie. What exactly does this veg-based patisserie trend entail, and how can the bakery sector respond to it?
How research leads to insights
With Taste Tomorrow, Puratos offers a foodstep into the future by tracking the evolution of trends and unveiling new ones. In this proprietary research program, we combine different sorts of research to provide in-depth insights into global and local consumer behaviours, attitudes and choices in the world of bakery, patisserie and chocolate.
We question more than 17.000 consumers in 40 countries, talk with 80 foodies in trend-setting cities, do sensorial research, interview customers and industry experts and continuously monitor trends by combining the latest digital technologies and semantic artificial intelligence techniques.
With Semantic AI, TasteTomorrow constantly monitors online conversations – in 9 languages - on social media to find out which topics are trending. For example: we search for 'bakery' and then all the words that are often used in combination with ‘bakery’ are displayed. These consumer data can be filtered based on demographic information such as age or location.
The semantic research now reveals that veg-based pastries are becoming a trend: there is a lot of searching and talking about this subject online.
Insights in the veg-based patisserie trend
To give you more insights in the veg-based patisserie trend, we present you the main themes that the online conversations are about:
1. Most popular search terms
The most popular search terms in the veg-based sweet patisserie domain are carrot cake and pumpkin pie, but not only because they’re traditional seasonal recipes. The fact that these recipes are easy to make – no-bake but microwaveable – is also a common theme in both Spanish and English monitoring areas.
The semantic research data show that other vegetables, like zucchini, sweet potatoes and sweet peas, are gaining traction too.
2. Sharing of indulgent & healthy recipes
Pumpkin pie has become a staple food in many countries. It’s particularly popular in North America around autumn with chains and home cooks promoting it. In online conversations, consumers share variations on the format (e.g. mini pies and decorative pastry), and they celebrate the incoming autumn and getting cosy at home.
Due to its bright colour and opportunity for decoration and personalisation, carrot cake is a highly-instagrammable bake and a staple feature in many cafés and restaurants. The frosting is often a call-out and just as important as the cake itself. High volumes around ‘plant-based’ also suggest that it is perceived as a go-to vegan option.
Kuih Keria is a Malaysian doughnut recipe based on sweet potato. Although it is shaped like a doughnut, this treat isn’t fluffy and light, but very hearty, chewy and not too sweet. The sweetness of Kuih Keria lies in the sweet potato itself.
3. Commercial chains leveraging nostalgic recipes
The much-anticipated and highly awaited autumn range from Starbucks caused a buzz online and has been highly adopted by other beverage outlets throughout the world. This seasonal association and buzz often spill over into bakery products, with consumers looking to enjoy their pumpkin beverage with pumpkin-flavoured baked goods.
How can the bakery sector respond to the veg-based patisserie trend?
It’s important that the bakery sector becomes aware of the growth opportunities that veg-based pies and cakes offer. Aside from typical seasonal recipes, vegetable-based sweet patisserie allows consumers to feel healthy while still experimenting with tastes, flavours, and formats. The trend actually taps in on three important needs: healthy indulgence, creativity and upcycling.
To fill in these needs, bakeries can first of all respond on a functional level, by baking goods with natural sweetness, and by offering treats with a healthy twist. On an emotional level, bakeries might show off their creativity. Get creative with veg-based ingredients, veggie left-overs and surprising substitutions. Explore new flavours in sweet goods that are associated with functional and healthy benefits. The trend is absolutely here to stay, so make sure to be on top of it.
Keeping up with the wishes and desires of consumers is a must if you work in foodservice. Stay up to date and explore the 3 key trends that are shaping the post-Covid bakery, patisserie and chocolate world.