Bake-off bread: quality, choice and freshness for shoppers

18 May 2021

Cost & Efficiency
Bakery Soft Items
Bakery Crusty Item
Innovation & Differentiation

Consumers want their baked goods to be extremely fresh and tasty. They also appreciate a choice from an extensive range of products. These consumer demands, combined with the needs of retailer and foodservice operators, lead to a rapidly growing bake-off bread category. Mario Carbonell, R&D manager for Frozen Bread Improvers at Puratos, and Stefan Eggermont, Customer Marketing manager for Large Accounts, tell you all about the benefits and challenges of bake-off bread and frozen dough. Discover how you can benefit the most from this technology.

Bake-off bread: popular all over the world

Ready-to-bake and frozen dough solutions are an important and growing technology to produce baked goods. Stefan illustrates: “In Europe for example, bake-off solutions already represent 20% of the total baked goods production. In viennoiserie, bake-off even has a 30% share. In the next few years, we expect bake-off bread and bakery products to grow at 3% annually, in a stable market. The bulk of growth will come from bread in modern retail, the largest segment.”

Consumer trends that drive bake-off growth
Puratos distinguishes multiple consumer trends that positively impact the demand for baked goods. “First of all, consumers around the world want fresh baked goods. Shoppers often perceive the freshness of bakery products as a cue for general product quality. With ready-to-bake breads and frozen dough products, retail stores and foodservice restaurants can bake in-store several times a day, or even on demand, providing super fresh products.”

Another trend is consumers looking for variety. They want to buy products adapted to their personal taste, mood or consumption occasion. With bake-off products, it’s easy to extend the range by having different products in the freezer, ready to grab and bake off.

Demographic changes also play a big role in the increasing demand for bake-off products in the retail channel. “Increased urbanisation, smaller household sizes and more employed women boost the growth of convenience stores, where bake-off technology is prevalent.”

Market trends in bake-off bread

One of the most important market trends is the shift towards more convenience in-store. “In bake-off dough solutions, different technologies exist: Un-fermented frozen (UFF) bread improvers for ready-to-proof processes, Pre-fermented frozen (PFF) and Par-baked Frozen (PBF) bread improvers for ready to bake doughs and breads. In answer to the need for convenience in-store, we see a shift towards ready to bake technologies (PFF and PBF).

Another big trend in the market is that industrial bakers, retailers and foodservice operators are reducing the number of additives in their products to ensure shorter ingredient lists and clean(er) labels.


And third: retailers around the world are constantly evaluating the best production methods for their fresh bakery. “As labour costs are high and many retailers have trouble finding skilled staff, quite a few consider shifting part of the in-store production to bake-off bread solutions. This brings new challenges, such as ensuring a frozen supply chain, but it also brings strong benefits.” 

    The benefits of bake-off solutions 
  • Compared to production from scratch, bake-off requires less staff and less skills in-store because of the shorter and easier preparation work 
  • Improved freshness 
  • More variety; bake-off makes extending the product range in stores easier 
  • Fast reaction to consumer demand, leading to less waste and less out-of-stocks 
  • Efficient production in bakeries (high volume, low cost)

The challenges of bake-off solutions 

For all the benefits mentioned above, many retailers and foodservice operators turn to bake-off bread solutions. But of course, frozen bread or frozen dough also brings challenges that should be kept in mind. The cold chain logistics, for example: frozen products have to stay frozen during the whole logistical chain, otherwise there will be a loss of quality and a decreased shelf life. And besides that, product quality is very much dependent of in-store execution. Staff members at the point of sale have a large impact: if they bake the product too long, too short, too hot or too cold, the quality of the finished product is not guaranteed.

How to create the perfect bake-off product

As every bake-off bread product has its own typical issues, Puratos has developed frozen dough and frozen bread solutions that are designed specifically for these technologies, all available as “Clean Label”.

 Puratos offers three ranges:

  1. For frozen doughs and Un-Fermented Frozen (UFF) processes, the “Kimo” improvers range is designed to guarantee an optimal fermentation and final volume.
  2. For ready-to-bake products and Pre-Fermented Frozen (PFF) processes, the “Quick Step” bread improver range is designed to avoid gluten damage that can occur during frozen storage and that cause the lack of volume on the final item. This specific type of PFF products is much more sensitive to temperature fluctuations. 
  3. For Par-Baked Frozen (PBF) breads, the “Double Bake” range is designed to avoid flaking issues and to extend the freshness of the bread after the second baking at the point of sale.

3. For Par-Baked Frozen (PBF) breads, the “Double Bake” range is designed to avoid flaking issues and to extend the freshness of the bread after the second baking at the point of sale.

Latest parbaked bread innovation: Double Bake Colour
Going one step further in bringing convenience at the point of sale, Puratos recently launched Double Bake Colour, a parbaked frozen bread improver already receiving excellent feedback from the bakery industry. “Double Bake Colour is a clean label solution that gives more colour during the first baking and reduces baking time in-store. This helps stores to react faster to consumer demand, helps improve quality of the finished product and even increase oven capacity.

Are you interested in the bake-off bread solutions from Puratos? Contact your local representative to discover how you can capitalise on the bake-off bakery growth.