Gluten-Free and Low Carb Diets Can't Kill Our Love of Bread
With gluten-free and low carb diets becoming more and more popular in the United States, you might think that bread demand would be on the decline. But thanks to a host of reasons, bread remains as popular as ever.
FSR Magazine recently explored bread popularity in 2021. They found that despite increased interest in gluten-free, keto, and other low carb diets, this staple product remains ubiquitous across the entire food industry.
FSR noted that bread has adapted into thousands of different varieties, including baguettes, bagels, naan, and more, and has become the vehicle of choice for sandwiches, toasts, tapenades, dips, and more. Burgers, dinner rolls, and many other staples people are accustomed to finding on menus all require bread, and there's no indication that people want that change.
The coronavirus pandemic only enhanced our love of bread. When faced with reduced options for eating out, many Americans took matters into their own hands and began baking their own bread. At-home bread baking became so popular that grocery stores across the country began facing flour and yeast shortages. And ironically, the yeast shortages only created a new boom for homemade sourdough making. People still found ways to make bread even when facing scarce ingredients.
A report from Mintel also suggests that the pandemic reinforced Americans' love of bread. They say many consumers re-discovered the versatility of bread and how easy it is to use for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even snacks. It's truly the perfect vehicle for any culinary creation.
There are also many people embracing the health benefits of bread. It is an excellent source of fiber, and also contains protein. There has also been a rise in breads using "ancient grains" such as amaranth and flax because they contain more omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and protein than wheat. There is also a growing sector of gluten-free breads, and many are working on greater innovation on these products to make them more appealing to a broader audience.
All this is evidence that the concern over carbs and gluten isn't as bad as many would think. William Roberts Jr., senior Food and Drink Analyst for Mintel, wrote, "Bread sales have remained modestly positive despite the lingering popularity of low carb diets."
So, if you're considering dumping all your burger buns for lettuce wraps and gluten-free tortillas, don't worry. There's still plenty of bread lovers out there looking for their sandwich fix.
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