What’s Next: Baking and Snack Trends in 2018

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Besides manufacturing the best commercial baking pans in the United States, LloydPans also keeps a close eye on industry trends. With 2017 coming to a close, we predict these five trends to dominate baking and snack industry headlines in 2018.

1. Evolution of Clean Label: Since ingredient lists were first mandated, consumers have had the knowledge of what ingredients were in baking and snack foods. For years, there wasn’t much interest, though. That has changed, as we’ve become a nation of label readers, and have shifted our purchasing preferences to more all-natural foods with ingredients you can pronounce.

Clean label formulations have moved beyond the trend phase though, and now have become almost mandatory for new bakery and snack food developments. Where we’re seeing movement now is the evolution of the clean label trend beyond natural ingredients, and into common ingredients that consumers have in their pantry.

2. Real Bread: The bread industry has come a long way since the Atkins craze. In 2018, expect bread to continue to rebound by going back to its roots. Whole and ancient grains, artisan craftsmanship and the elimination of artificial flavors, preservatives and colors. “Real” bread will be all the rage in 2018, and we couldn’t be happier.

3. Real Sweeteners: Sugar is the new tobacco. A maligned ingredient that often gets accused as the leading culprit in the obesity epidemic. As a result, food manufacturers have broadened their sweetener selection to use more natural sweeteners, both traditional and new.

On the traditional side, honey and maple syrup are starting to show up on more and more ingredient listings. These “pantry sweeteners” are familiar to consumers and trusted. “New” and natural sweeteners such as stevia and monk fruit also are gaining popularity by bakers looking to maintain all-natural sweetness.

4. Plant-based snacks: “Can you pass the seaweed?” It doesn’t sound right, but more and more consumers are purchasing plant-based snacks that skew far from traditional. Seaweed snacks, legume-based chips, quinoa puffs and more. Potatoes, wheat and corn are no longer the only players in town, and countless new innovative startups are changing the face of the snack aisle by developing snack foods from alternative ingredients.

The promise of each new entry into the market: A “better-for-you” option you can feel good about eating, or feeding your kids. And you know what, it’s working. More and more consumers are purchasing these alternative snack options, and even the big players in the industry are paying attention.

5. Snacking: It’s not just alternative snacks that consumers are noshing. Snacking in general is booming as on-the-go consumers reach for food bars, fruit chips, drinkable yogurt and more to satiate between-meal appetites.

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