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Better Bakery

News Date : 03/26/2017

With the global baked goods market at an all-time high, Karin Meissner of Ingredion looks at how the market in South Africa is evolving and how manufacturers can develop new products that meet areas of high consumer demand.

The bakery and cereals market in South Africa is one of the fastest growing markets across the globe, according to Canadean's Consumer and Market Insights report.1 It is expected to grow 4.3% by 2021. (Mintel).

This, in-part, is driven by the well-established bread and rolls sub-category which continues to thrive.

Alongside this, new high growth segments are emerging, including on-the-go snacking and cakes, sweet biscuits and cookies, with 38% share of new product launches in bakery in 2012-16.

There is a South African culture for snacking on the go, according to a 2017 Nutrition & Health Consumer Survey. Sweet baked goods (SBGs) are a frequent choice when consumers fancy a treat, are hungry or feel they deserve a reward.

In fact, sweet biscuits and cookies and cakes and pastries are the two categories that have consistently topped new product development in the region over the last twelve months2 and represent a significant opportunity for food manufacturers.

Eating occasions in South Africa typically determine the type of product consumed, with certain baked goods being seen as everyday items, while others are more likely to be eaten only on special occasions. Consumers buy from stores that meet their need for freshness or extended shelf life, according to the survey.

As the South African food retail market continues to mature, it is likely that areas such as on-the-go snacking will grow in strength, driven by lifestyle factors and how food is consumed.

Key considerations for the South African bakery market


In South Africa, affordability is a key consideration for both consumers and manufacturers.

To meet the affordability trend, food producers in the South African market can keep food fresher for longer and extend shelf-life so they can deliver attractively priced, on-trend products that appeal both to retailers and consumers in South Africa. This can be achieved by removing ingredients such as fat and sugar.

By removing these ingredients, manufacturers are able to improve the affordability of their products whilst improve freshness. Recipe reformulation such as this requires a combination of technical expertise and ingredient knowledge to ensure that the overall product quality and eating experience is not in any way affected.

Sensory Experience and clean labels

South African consumers want the same taste, texture and sensory experience whether a bakery product is a full or reduced fat version, contains wheat or is gluten-free, or is bought from the in store bakery or off the shelf. In this example, if a speciality ingredient is used, such as the functional native starch NOVATION® Indulge 3920 functional native starch, then in addition to supporting a low, reduced or fat free claim, a clean label can also be achieved.

Having recognisable, store-cupboard ingredients listed on a product’s label can have a positive influence on consumer purchasing behaviour and, while the clean label trend is relatively new in South Africa, it is gradually becoming more established.

Health & Nutrition

As we move into 2017 and beyond, any new product development within the bakery category needs to take into account the global health and nutrition trend.

There is still strong interest in reduced glycaemic products. Resistant starches made from maize that is capable of being highly processed and label-friendly are a good way to achieve this claim.

With interest in health and nutrition becoming ever more prominent globally, the top two growing health claims in South Africa are low cholesterol and low, reduced or fat free.

Food producers could look to develop breads, cakes and snacks using wholegrain ingredients to support health and nutrition claims too, using products such as SUSTAGRAIN® whole grain barley. Wholegrain barley boosts the wholegrain, fibre and beta glucan content of baked goods, which has been shown to lower blood cholesterol.

When formulating bakery products, consideration needs to be given to the properties of ingredients. Not only do ingredients need to be functional to fortify baked goods, but must also be easy to formulate and be colourless and with a neutral taste and odour profile to maintain the positive sensory experience of eating. 

The outlook for the South African bakery market is positive. There are new opportunities for manufacturers to develop new products and differentiate themselves both within core categories such as bread and rolls, and growing segments including cakes, sweet biscuits and cookies.


(1)    - Consumer and Market Insights: Bakery and Cereals in South Africa, Canadean

(2)    Mintel 2016


Published in SA Food Review - Bakery Review edition 

Editor’s note: 
About Ingredion

Ingredion Incorporated (NYSE: INGR) is a leading global ingredient solutions provider. We turn grains, fruits, vegetables and other plant materials into value-added ingredients and biomaterial solutions for the food, beverage, paper and corrugating, brewing and other industries. Serving customers in over 100 countries, our ingredients make crackers crunchy, yoghurts creamy, candy sweet, paper stronger and add fibre to nutrition bars. The main trading companies within the EMEA region are Ingredion UK Limited, Ingredion Germany GmbH and Ingredion South Africa Pty Limited. Visit to learn more.

For further press information, please contact: Victoria O’Toole

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