Are these products healthy?
Now that the trend for healthy eating has become mainstream, has this impacted your baking business? Have you switched fat-laden, high sugar products for lite versions? Or use more whole grains or produce in your recipes? Or rely on organic ingredients to satisfy customers who are looking for healthy foods?
Or is your customer base more interested in traditional sweets – cookies, cakes, pies, brownies – which are baked from classic recipes?
Fruit, which is naturally sweet, is a great idea and a good addition to your products. It’s possible to reduce the amount of sweetener in the recipe by using a higher proportion of fruit. But be careful of using too much fresh fruit which has a high water content; dried fruits, however, work quite well.
The April 2014 issue of Bake Magazine had an interesting view on this subject. The editor wrote about “the fresh fruit factor” (p3), which mentioned the needs of some customers who regularly cycle through the diet then splurge eating plan.
This editorial addressed how bakers have struggled with the “dilemma of presenting health and indulgence to customers who may be dieting one day and splurging the next.” In our culture it’s a very real issue for bakeries or any eatery selling baked goods. He continued, “Quite simply, you can create the perception of health by adding fresh fruit to the top of your dessert.” Ah, visual appeal as the perception of health. One baker interviewed for the article stated that, “A fruit tart might have the same calories as a chocolate cake, but it’s perceived as a healthier, more natural product.” Yes, sadly, it fools many customers into believing they are eating healthier, less fattening foods.
Home-Based Baking at its Best! As businesses, we need to offer products that customers will buy. Depending upon your target market, health might not be a current issue. But with the healthy eating trend becoming more entrenched in our culture, it may be a good idea to include at least one or two items to your product line.