As we start planning for the festive period, retailers should be prepared to meet the demands of consumers who are increasingly seeking out plant-based alternatives for their delectable holiday treats. With the growing trend of healthier food choices, it’s important to stock up on the products that will cater to this shift.
According to Google Trends, the search for vegan baking recipes has skyrocketed by 139% since 2005! Innova Market Insights also identified “plant-based” as one of the prominent trends back in 2021, projecting that plant-based confectionery will gain substantial ground – so brace yourselves for the onslaught of plant-based desserts at this year’s Friendsgiving. These statistics indicate that more and more customers are on the lookout for plant-based alternatives in their local stores and online platforms to create healthier and delicious holiday goodies.
To guarantee a successful holiday baking season, retailers should focus on two key steps:
- Make it undeniably easy for customers to find substitute products in or near the baking aisle. Not only will this convenience save them time and effort while shopping, but it’ll ensure they purchase those products in your store. Remember: If they can’t find it on your shelves, they’re likely to find it elsewhere.
- Provide valuable resources such as conversion charts and substitution guides, enabling customers to seamlessly replace animal-based ingredients in their culinary creations.
The choice of the best substitute largely depends on the type of treat being prepared. Baking is a precise science, and ingredient substitutions must be considered carefully to avoid flavorless or failed results. For instance, replacing solid fats like butter with liquid fats such as canola oil requires an understanding of how the fat affects the final product. A baker should be aware of the impact of fats on flavor, the most suitable liquid fat substitute and the correct method of incorporating it in the recipe.
Neutral-tasting oils (like soy or canola) work well for sugar cookies and other treats with mild flavors. On the other hand, heavily flavored treats like spice cookies can handle stronger flavored oils as a butter substitute. Oils like olive oil or sesame oil can beautifully enhance the taste of spiced confections.
It’s important to note that using fats that are typically liquid at room temperature can impact the texture of the final product if not handled properly. When substituting butter with a liquid fat for cookies, refrigerating the dough for 20-30 minutes before baking yields the best results. For items like pie crusts that rely on solid fats melting in the oven to achieve their signature texture, solid vegetable fats like coconut oils, palm oil, or vegetable shortening work best.
By assisting consumers in selecting the most suitable substitutes and providing them with the necessary tools, you can ensure a joyful baking experience for everyone involved. Download our convenient conversion chart and reach out to us for assistance in stocking the finest products to help your customers make the most of this holiday season.