For many, 2022 was likely a different year than expected. While some looked for a return to normal, it quickly became evident things were far from the norm. Still reeling from the collective whammies of the pandemic, labor shortages and supply chain disruptions, the industry and consumers added inflationary pressures to the mix. Forty-year highs on prices directly impacted the industry and consumers across the spectrum.
What could have easily been a moment of despair became another shift into problem-solving mode, offering yet another example of the industry’s resiliency. As a result, many have adopted a pragmatic approach – considering both what has been and what could be – leaving massive potential for where the industry and its players could be over the next 12 months.
Sustainability has been on the consumer radar for some time, but defining sustainability is far from straightforward. The push for more sustainable options is multi-faceted, led by demanding consumers, local regulations, marketing strategies and ESG agendas.
Narrowing the scope of sustainability requires a collective approach that may feel downright overwhelming when considering many manufacturers continue to deal with transportation and labor issues, higher ingredient prices, supply chain disruptions and a necessary streamlining of SKUs amid an ever-evolving range of consumer-related inputs. An American Bakers Association (ABA) July 2022 report, Life Through the Lens of Bakery, found that sustainability matters to 2 in 3 Americans, but it only influences the purchases of 1 in 5.
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