The pastry industry is becoming more and more similar to the fashion industry. This is a pastry shop that continually innovates and surprises and where everything changes very quickly. Every season, pastry chefs from all over the world show us new and surprising pastry proposals, as if it were a fashion show. Events such as the Paris Pastry Show or Bakery China, where we have participated in several editions, are true showcases of this creative pulse that moves the universe of professional pastry.
Pastry creativity is based on food innovation and current food trends, and from the mixture of all these new concepts and formats, new ingredients and techniques, and new business models in professional pastry, all of which constitute the new trends in pastry.
Three major trends in today’s professional pastry
Although we will go into detail later on about new concepts and formats, new ingredients and techniques, and new business models, we can see three major general trends that are increasingly influencing today’s pastries:
Less sweet and more natural
For the last decade we have been experiencing a change in the eating habits of the population, which demands higher quality products that provide them with a high degree of satisfaction. On the one hand, there is a demand for indulgent and highly attractive products, especially when it comes to occasional pastries and fine confectionery. And products with a more balanced nutritional profile, for more frequent consumption, especially when it comes to confectionery and industrial pastries.
Gluten-free and lactose-free products are still on the rise, and the demand for less sweet and more natural confectionery is growing, in line with increased consumer awareness of the impact of food on health and wellness.
In professional confectionery, alternatives to refined sugar, such as fruit syrups, are being sought, and the use of spices is increasing to enhance sweetness without sweetening or sugaring. Alternatives to traditional flours are also being sought, replacing the latter with others of higher protein content and low glycemic index, such as cassava, soybean or coconut flour. And artificial colorants are eliminated in favor of natural pigments of vegetable origin.
As for fats, there is no doubt, they must be higher quality fats. Beyond legislation, which regulates the use of hydrogenated fats and the trans fat content of products, there is a growing awareness of the importance of using quality fat sources. A good butter, a good cream, a good mascarpone or a good cream cheese are indispensable in quality pastry making.
Evolution of traditional pastries
Pastry and bakery professionals are constantly revising traditional pastry recipes, adapting them to new consumer requirements. On the one hand, it is sometimes sought to make it lighter in sugars and fats, while preserving its unmistakable classic flavor. On the other hand, it also experiments with more surprising flavors, reinterpreting classic sweets and even fusing them with more modern creations. This new approach to traditional pastries usually goes hand in hand with the incorporation of innovative techniques and ingredients in their preparation.
Most Instagrammable cakes
In a world influenced by the showcase of social networks, the visual aspect of pastries is very important . Today’s pastry elaborations must be Instagrammable, they must make the consumer feel proud to take them and show them off. Especially on Instagram where images of the creations of the world’s most famous pastry chefs triumph.
Thus, there is a tendency to make extremely beautiful and gorgeous cakes. This is what we call instagrammable cakes, which, in addition to delighting the consumer, serve to attract customers.
New concepts and formats in professional pastry
Hybrid pastry is the union of two sweet recipes to make only one. Many European confectioners living in New York, where the demand for new pastries is very high, have fused traditional pastries with the pastries of their country of residence, resulting in creations that share two different cultures and have been a resounding sales success.
A few years ago, French pastry chef Dominique Ansel launched the Cronut, the result of a marriage between the classic croissant recipe and the most famous doughnut in American pastry, the doughnut. This phenomenon of the creation of hybrids has been followed by many others, such as the Crookie by French pastry chef Olivier Jansen-Reynaud, which fuses the croissant and the famous Oreo cookie; the Donnoli which joins the donut to the famous Sicilian cannoli filled with ricotta; or the Townie, which turns the brownie into a tart with a gooey center and a crispy outer layer.
The trend of pastry hybrids continues unstoppable and recently we have had news of the fusion of the famous French macaron with the world of ice cream, becoming a macaron ice cream sandwich; or the Cruffin, a cross between a croissant and a muffin. Will we see this trend implemented in our country? New creations that merge our classic torrija or pestiño with cakes from other latitudes? We took the plunge and merged the traditional Créme Brûlée with the cheesecake and the result was an amazing Cheese Brûlée!
The mini format is becoming more and more popular in the bakery industry
In terms of portion size and the most demanded format, are imposed miniature cakes. The individual and XS size format makes it possible to enjoy dessert at dessert time and at large events with family or friends, overcoming the main barriers of diners when ordering dessert (satiety, health, price…). In addition, the miniature pastry format is associated with the idea of tasting for more curious palates that have the opportunity to try a greater number of creations and flavors.
Multi-sectioned cakes and Fault Line Cakes
In the specific bakery of the catering world we also have novelties. Wedding celebrations and other events will make a strong comeback as current restrictions are lifted and with them the demand for customized solutions.
To the extent that consumers seek offers that are more personalized to their tastes, and the tastes of different people within a group may differ, a cake made up of several sections or with several parts (either in two halves or more), is a perfect solution which gives us the opportunity to include in the same cake sections or pieces for different tastes and dietary requirements.
Another celebratory cake trend that is bursting onto the cake and cheesecake scene is the Fault Line Cake . A frosting-covered cake with one or more open lines that makes the cake batter visible and is filled with confetti, flowers, mini cookies or any other edible ornament.
Babka, the cake from the East
Babka is a traditional brioche from Eastern European countries, especially Poland, Bulgaria, or Romania, which is prepared in these countries mainly for Easter. It is a cake with braided brioche dough filled with chocolate that has become a trend in France. Exclusive Parisian “boulangeries” have even opened that are dedicated exclusively to baking the delicious babka. Hundreds of versions of the traditional dessert have been reinvented with different fillings and flavors. Will we see this trend here soon?
The “evasion” of island cakes
Jelly cakes that look like tropical islands are the new trend in the pastry world. With all travel on hold due to Covid-19, some are looking for another way to satiate their wanderlust and what better way than through a sweet treat! The trend originated in a New Zealand bakery but has spread and become popular in bakeries around the world. Very visual cakes made of gelatin dyed in blue and green tones where creativity is served: crumbled cookies or nuts as sand and marzipan or chocolate to model the details of shells and corals.
Veggie pastries and vegetable flavors
The number of people following a veggie diet continues to increase and the global pastry industry sees an opportunity to satisfy this new and demanding customer looking for veggie pastry alternatives. Avoiding poor quality vegetable fats (vegetable preparations), there are proposals in which traditional butter is replaced by nut butters such as walnuts, hazelnuts or almonds; eggs are replaced by flaxseed, or coconut cream or vegetable milks are used instead of cream and milk.
From there, and in veggie and non-veggie cakes, the vegetable trend expands and plays with all types of vegetable flavors such as fruit, zucchini or squash; and with botanical and herbal scents and decorations such as rosemary, thyme, roses, marshmallow or elderflower. In short, it is all about seducing the senses of the vegetable-loving customer with quality ingredients.
New ingredients and techniques in professional bakery
Pandan, a new ingredient from Japan
The rise of Japanese gastronomy continues and its influence in our pastries is already a reality with ingredients such as green tea and matcha tea widely implemented in European and American pastries. Although more timidly, fruits such as yuzu (from the citrus family) or beverages such as Japanese whiskey or sake are gradually beginning to be used in our confectionery. And new, much more complex Asian flavors are on the way. This is the case of pandan or pandanus, a plant whose leaves are used both to wrap meats or fish for flavoring, as well as to naturally provide an intense green color and give a peculiar vanilla flavor to desserts and beverages.
Inulin, the vegetable fiber that provides creaminess
This is a type of fiber naturally present in many vegetables, cereals and fruits, although its powdered variety is mainly extracted from chicory. It has a light sweetening power and a neutral flavor. With the use of inulin We achieve a good creaminess without having to overdo it in the amounts of fat and sugar. This ingredient is an example of food R&D&I. Thanks to research, it has been possible to demonstrate the great water retention capacity of inulin and its practical applications in bakery products.
Cutting-edge pastry designs thanks to laser technology
3D pastries with their impossible customized designs is an innovative trend that also requires cutting-edge technology to make it a reality. 3D printers and laser technology applied to gastronomy are no longer science fiction, and are a good alternative for catering companies that can thus take the customization of their sweet creations to the extreme for any celebration with mass production. Whether to make cakes with ingenious geometric shapes that look like something out of Gaudi’s studio, or with intricate text and engraved patterns, the laser allows us to go beyond what our imagination allows. The Spanish company Cocuus has designed the Laser Glow specifically for food applications and allows working in both 2D and 3D.
New business models in professional bakery
The rise of freshly baked goods
If the artisanal aspect burst onto the scene a few years ago, the “freshly baked” label has now been added to this label. Making a freshly made product available to your customers has great appeal. More and more consumers are choosing to buy in this type of establishments, as they associate the concept of freshly made with artisanal and healthier products.
Pastry shops offering products with customized designs
Personalization is here to stay in the pastry industry. Customers are looking for exclusivity and originality to celebrate a special day, from a birthday to a wedding. Personalization not only in the format and design of cakes and pies, but also in the possibility of choosing the flavors, colors and combination you want to impress your guests. It is therefore an à la carte pastry.
Delivery service is incorporated into the pastry world
Home delivery has traditionally been associated with restaurant food delivery, but incorporating delivery into your bakery or pastry business can increase your profits considerably. During the months that the confinement caused by the sanitary measures against Covid-19 took place, the demand for the delivery service grew by 23% over the already 19% increase that took place during 2019 and the forecast for the rest of 2020 and next year is that it will continue to grow.
Pop-up bakery businesses
We are all familiar with the idea of pop-up restaurants, as well as foodtrucks that offer street food at specific events or for a specific period of time. The idea of pop-up businesses can also be extended to pastry, bakery and ice cream businesses, and although timidly, it is already beginning to reach the sector as well. Offering your products in a different location and for a certain period of time can be a great way to expand your business and find a new audience to build loyalty to your creations.
We hope that this broad overview of the main trends in the pastry, bakery and ice cream sector can help you to keep your business at the top and improve both the satisfaction of your regular customers and the attraction of new ones. To materialize these ideas, we encourage you to visit the Quescrem recipe section where you will find lots of inspiration and delicious desserts made with cream cheeses and other specific dairy products for the professional made from noble raw materials and a lot of R+D+i.