As an example of one such traditional-meets-global mashup, she points to mochi doughnuts, which combine traditional American doughnuts with Japanese mochi.
In fact, fried dough is an example of a product that consumers all over the globe enjoy, albeit with slightly different variations, notes Hickey, who cites beignets from France, paczki (a jelly-filled doughnut) from Eastern Europe and churros from Mexico. “We have found that consumers globally enjoy all these different types of fried dough, and over a third of them are planning to experience other cultures through these desserts,” she explains.
Egg tarts are another product that tends to have universal appeal. Asian American grocer 99 Ranch Market, based in Buena Park, Calif., has experienced phenomenal growth with its Portuguese Egg Tarts, a pastry that’s similar to Chinese dan ta, according to an article on its website.
Europastry, a frozen bakery specialist with U.S. headquarters in Ronkonkoma, N.Y., is another company that’s working with retailers to enhance their global offerings, in this case, by providing parbaked premium brioche, pastries, and unique thaw-and-sell doughnuts inspired by European recipes. The company’s website notes: “Our products embody the spirit of France’s charming cafes, Italy’s lively streets, Copenhagen’s centennial bakeries and Lisbon’s romantic feel.”
Carolina Moré, marketing director at Europastry USA, says that current trending items from the company include pastel de nata, an egg custard from Portugal; Danish Bretzels, a pastry inspired by pretzels; and Dots Original, a line of doughnuts made from an original recipe in Spain.
“We’ve detected a clear positive trend for European-style pastries and brioche in the U.S. market,” she notes.
To help introduce American consumers to these European recipes, Moré suggests that retailers consider creating limited offers, perhaps on a monthly basis, using the origin of the countries or the story behind the tradition of these desserts.
Sampling is another great way to call attention to new globally inspired selections, and IDDBA suggests offering smaller portion sizes for those who don’t want to indulge too much. Dawn Foods’ “Global Bakery Trends Report” shares the idea of featuring an international cookie plate — an ideal showcase item for get-togethers and celebrations.
Retailers should also consider occasion-based marketing, including primary and secondary holidays, along with self-invented holidays and special occasions, to promote premium items in the bakery, advises IDDBA.
Supermarket bakers might want to take note of some globally inspired flavors that are trending and could be incorporated into some of their new dessert ideas. In Whole Foods Market’s Trend Forecast for 2022, the natural and organic food chain includes hibiscus, a flower that originated in Asia and the Pacific Islands and imparts a cranberry-like, sweet and slightly earthy flavor, and moringa, a tree that’s native to India and can be used as a matcha alternative.
Earlier this year, Hunt Valley, Md.-based spice maker McCormick released a limited-edition seasoning called Miso Caramel and shared a few related recipe ideas, including Miso Caramel Oatmeal Whoopie Pies and Miso Caramel Sauce (miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning). In addition, one of the themes in this year’s “McCormick’s Flavor Forecast” is “plus sweet,” or how sweetness finds new dimensions through subtle and unexpected flavor combinations. In a pop-up experience that accompanied the report’s release, McCormick featured a “Sundae Service” with globally inspired ice cream toppings, including gomashio, a Japanese condiment made with sesame and salt, and chamoy, a Mexican sauce made with pickled fruits and chili peppers.
Other international spices to consider include tamarind, turmeric and cardamom, all of which can add a surprising kick to baked treats.