How freshness defines the quality perception of baked goods

28 Oct 2019

The freshness of a product has a big impact on the Canadian consumers’ perception of quality. To determine product freshness, they use all their senses: smell, sight and touch. But the latest Taste Tomorrow survey also showed that the definitions of freshness are evolving, and it revealed new criteria that impact consumers' perception of quality. Learn more about the evolving freshness trend.

The data and insights come from a consumer survey, called Taste Tomorrow, which is conducted in 40 countries to gather data from over 17,000 consumers, including 400 Canadians. The study was first conducted in 2011 and now, eight years later, the results of this third edition reveal nine key worldwide trends. We will discuss each of the 9 trends; in this article, we will share with you more insights on the third trend, Freshness.

Consumers expect their food to be fresher in the future

Freshness was, and still is a crucial element for consumers. Especially Canadians who always consider freshness as one of the top criteria for purchasing baked goods; this was the case in 2015 and was reconfirmed in 2019. When it comes to bread, freshness is just as important as taste.

A new definition of freshness

The definition of freshness has also evolved since 2015. Canadian consumers continue to use their senses to determine product freshness: through smell, sight (the overall appearance, but also seeing the product being made) and touch (the softness of the product).

But the survey from 2019, showed a new criteria that consumers use to judge the freshness of baked goods. They now also associate freshness with the expiration date, or shelf life: the time that a product can be stored without becoming unfit for consumption. This relates directly to how far away in time the product is from the moment it was made.

Freshness defines quality perception

The growing importance of the expiration date in the perception of freshness made us curious: how does this impact consumers’ perception of packaged and frozen food versus fresh food? Do consumers perceive any differences in quality? The survey reveals that the answer is yes: 92% of Canadian consumers clearly perceive fresh food to be of better quality than packaged or frozen food (this is true for food in general). The gap is quite large, as only 28% of consumers think that packaged food is of good quality and 45% think that frozen food is of good quality. By the way, did you know that more than 45% of the Canadians freeze their bread? This is our way to push the pause button on freshness.

Key take-aways from the ‘freshness’ trend

Summarizing the ‘freshness’ trend, we can say that freshness defines the quality perception of a product. To radiate freshness, it’s important that you enable your customers to experience freshness with all their senses. This means: the smell of freshly baked products, the look, seeing where and when the product is made.

About Taste Tomorrow, it’s a consumer survey dedicated to bakery, patisserie and chocolate. It’s conducted by Puratos every three years in 40 countries to gather data from over 17,000 consumers, including 400 Canadian consumers. The results? Fresh insights on health, taste, convenience, experience, digital trends and more, to stimulate innovation in the bakery, patisserie and chocolate sectors.

Want to learn more?

Please contact your Puratos Sales representative if you would like to find out more about the Taste Tomorrow trends in Canada.

This article is written by Liesbet Vandepoel, Marketing Director, Puratos Canada. Liesbet has over 15 years of expertise in marketing in Europe and North America and has developed a true passion for food as well as a thorough understanding of the people who consume it. In the coming months, she will share with you the different trends coming from the Taste Tomorrow study with a specific focus on Canada.