The COVID-19 pandemic has led many consumers to find comfort in indulgent foods, and cakes remain well-positioned to fulfil that need. In particular, seasonal baked goods for occasions such as Christmas, Easter and Mother’s Day remain well-suited as their decadent flavours and distinct, seasonal connotations, invoking a nostalgic feeling that remind consumers of happy past holidays.

According to Mintel’s Global New Product Database (GNPD), in the year to September 2021 saw a marked increase in seasonal launches in Europe, with 17% of cake, pastry and sweet good launches bearing a seasonal claim. The UK was home to much of this activity, with 27% of launches in the same period. Meanwhile, in the US seasonal/limited edition claims were present for 12% of cake, pastry and sweet good launches in 2020, according to Innova.

A touch of nostalgia

The undeniable events stemming from the COVID19 pandemic have sharpened focus for health while also prioritising comfort and nostalgia during trying times.  Nostalgia has been a powerful influence on food innovation throughout the pandemic, fuelled by consumers desire for familiar and comforting flavours and formats from the past.

Whether it’s your grandmother’s vanilla sponge or your school dinner’s cake, when you bite into your favourite childhood dessert, you are often overcome with feelings of warmth and pleasure as you’re reminded of the past, which makes you nostalgic. Your sense of taste and smell are considered to be the strongest senses to evoke emotions, which is why consumers are heading for comforting nostalgic baked goods to experience their childhood again.

This theme is predicted to remain this year, sitting alongside emerging Asian flavours and other locally-inspired flavours, appealing to consumers who crave tastes which remind them of holiday seasons.

Supporting seasonal interest across the world

Recent recipe series include Christmas from British Bakels, Easter recipe inspiration from South Bakels and Mother’s Day by Bakels Brazil, a focus of our applications teams across the Group to inspire bakery customers. Our multi-channel campaigns utilise various digital media, including dedicated landing pages and bolstering of our growing recipe libraries across the Bakels websites.

Aligned with a boom in tech adoption throughout the pandemic, Bakels websites across the world offer a wide array of product information and recipe ideas. Whether they are searching for ingredients to make specific finished goods, those with required features or recipes according to Bakels ingredients they already have, the platform accommodates the needs of busy bakers.

Sources: Mintel – Global New Product Database (GNPD) 2021, Innova Database.

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