By Manpreet Kaur

Baked goods are artisans which ignite the lava of saliva in our mouth. A classic example of baked goods is bread, others include muffins, cakes, croissants and pretzels etc. Before we talk about bakery industry, we must understand what exactly is baking technology. In simple words, baking is a method of cooking with the use of oven, hot ashes or hot stones etc. the heat is gradually transferred from the surface of batter towards the center, resulting in firm and dry outer surface of the bread called crust and softer more fluffier inner portion called crumb.

The Bakery industry business in India is prominent and wide spread.  Although lockdown had an impact on the bakery business as in  other businesses, conditions have improved post lockdown. The saying ‘Comeback is more powerful than setback’ has proven true for the bakery industry. The major challenge for the industry during the lockdown was the  emergence of homemade or house hold  baked products and small businesses. However the industry thrived in challenging conditions and came out with flying colors after the lockdown.

According to the EMR report, there has been a rise in the demand and sales of the baked products ever since the lockdown got over. This upsurge is basically due to increased demand for cakes, pastries and doughnuts etc, mostly by children and millennial. Products like cake, muffins and pastries tickle the taste buds of  youngsters, making such products  popular.

A market research conducted by Food Ingredients India, reveals that despite certain difficulties and challenges, the forecast of the Indian Bakery Business is positive with a projected market value likely to exceed USD 12 billion by 2024. This hike in the market value owes to changing consumer habits and lifestyle. People are more busy than ever before, female forces in the workplace are increasing. These are some of the reasons why people have started to prefer baked goods like bread and muffins. Another reason behind the rise in demand of such goods is their affordability by common people. Convenience and low cost have made baked good extremely popular among the population of varied age groups.

Although homemade products gave  tough competition during lockdown, bakery  industry has thrived in the era of pandemic due to its cutting edge improvised marketing technique. For example a company called Puratos allowed the local bakeries to create a personalized web-shop so that consumers can easily order and can receive the bakery products at home. This action not only made Puratos survive as a company, but also build a strong connection between house hold  items and the wider market niche.

As the outreach and demand of baked product is increasing, so are its health impacts. With the changing times, consumers are becoming more aware and enlightened about health and nutrition. This has caused the bakery industry to push beyond boundaries and produce goods that are tasty as well as healthy. However, products being health effective does not finish the task. The industry needs to maintain a balance between taste and health. One of the companies which manufacture such products is Britannia. Some products like multigrain breads are prepared from rye, maize, wheat and oats etc. These products are highly beneficial for the health. However the taste of the product was initially compromised.

This challenge was wisely handled by the industry by incorporating health beneficial bio-active compounds as well as flavor enhancing compounds. The scientific name of this process is food fortification. This helps not only in maintaining the balance of taste and health but also attracts a lager segment of consumers, mainly young children, teenagers and millennial.

The Data Bridge Market Research Report states that sales in the bakery aisle sector increased by 62.3% over the week ending March 15; there has also been an increase in sales of  approximately 44.3% for combined cookies and crackers in the food sector.

Apart from statistical data of Indian bakery industry, bakery has a rich history as well. According to Dr. R. Paul Singh( Professor of Food Engineering, University of California), bread has been a common staple in prehistoric times. In 2600 B.C. Egyptians intentionally used the process of leavening or fluffing in simple terms with the help of  fermentation technique. In fermentation, the dough or batter is mixed with a health friendly micro organism and allowed to rest for some time. This results in fluffy, soft and more creamy texture of the bread.

Discussion about bakery is incomplete without talking about its taste profile. A yummy bite of crispy tortillas can make your mood lit! Yes you guessed it right! Delicious, crunchy, soft or crispy bakery has it all. From simple breads to magical muffins, every baked product has its own characteristic to explode your taste buds and mood with happy hormone. Major credit needs to be given to the texture and flavor. A variety of toppings and creams on the cake and flavors Incorporated inside the bread can cause your mouth to flush with the plethora of water.That is why sweet baked goods are generally associated with celebration and happy occasions like Christmas. All it takes is a creamy filled muffin to melt you heart. Whether its cake or pretzel bakery leaves no ingredient unturned.