India is lagging in seasonal sweet bakery product innovation
New research from Mintel shows that Indian consumers are yearning for a heightened level of flavour adventure from sweet bakery products, with 70% of consumers agreeing that the usual offerings in the category are becoming boring.
Compared to more mature sweet bakery markets, flavour innovations in India remain limited. For example, between December 2019 to November 2022, the number of individual flavours in sweet bakery launches in the UK was more than fivefold compared to India during the same period, according to Mintel Global New Products Database.
India’s launch activity in the category continues to focus on classic favourites like chocolate and vanilla. These two flavours also continue to dominate the category with chocolate accounting for 32% of the total launches and vanilla contributing 14% between January 2022 to December 2022.
On a broader scale across the Asia-Pacific region, pistachio has witnessed an exponential rise as a flavour in the sweet bakery category, with a staggering growth of 1200% over the last three years through December 2022.
Furthermore, 79% of Indians agree that introducing novel flavours motivates them to consume sweet bakery products. About one-third of consumers have expressed interest in more innovative sweet bakery products, particularly those featuring seasonal flavours (32%) and flavour combinations (30%).
Sweet bakery is seen as an indulgence-led category, with 77% of Indians agreeing that such products lift their mood. However, there is a rising demand for healthier alternatives; made with whole wheat flour (33%), all-natural ingredients (32%), and rich in nuts (31%) are the most important factors for consumers choosing a healthy, sweet bakery product. Consumers, especially those in metropolitan and Tier 1 cities, are increasingly looking for healthier sweet bakery products, which presents a promising opportunity for the sweet bakery sector in India to innovate and cater to evolving consumer needs.
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