All together now: Ready-made baking sets in patterned tins make baking and gift-giving even more beautiful. Photo: Dr. Oetker
The Great Baking Trend
When yeast is sold out for weeks in supermarkets during the corona lockdown, it points to one thing: People are baking their own bread. Whether it’s because they’re worried about bottlenecks from the baked goods industry or because we’re all spending a lot more time at home, this much has become clear over the past few months: Households are baking more, and baking is cool again.
This has led to an increase in sales for convenience products, such as ready-bake mixes, in the food industry, among other items. The US food manufacturer General Mills increased its sales of flour and baking mixes by 75% during the American lockdown.
THE BAKING CRAZE TOOK OFF BEFORE CORONA...
The baking craze might have ramped up during the pandemic, but the trend for home baking goes back further. One reason behind this is the desire for healthier food and the desire to use high-quality ingredients. If you bake your own bread, you have complete control of what’s in it. Baking mixes in particular offer amateur bakers an easy way to get into baking. Here, consumers who don’t have a lot of spare time are the most significant target group here. Singles, parents and students love biscuits, bread and cakes that are quick to prepare and almost foolproof to make.
The “Baking Bread” book from the Austrian branch of Oetker picks up on this enduring trend for home-made bread .Photo Dr. Oetker
People with allergies or food intolerances and/or coeliac disease can use gluten-free baking mixes made from corn, rice or buckwheat. Vegan baking mixes that contain no animal ingredients whatsoever and instead use vegetarian gelling agents and plant fats such as margarine are found more and more frequently in retail.
The population’s passion for baking is also demonstrated by the steady stream of new baking programmes, baking magazines, blogs and numerous social medial channels on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook with unique recipe ideas which chime in with the baking trend. In addition, baked goods manufacturers such as Oetker are hopping on the baking bandwagon, with more acting as publishers and bringing out recipe books to provide inspiration for baking.
Sufficient baking inspiration is also provided at the point of sale, for example via seasonal baking mixes like the “Winter Plum Cake” mix, with Christmas spices from Oetker. This is because baked goods manufacturers and retailers have recognised that consumers can generally be tempted into baking by attractive and high-quality baked goods packaging positioned directly in shops at the point of purchase. Due to the demographic change, the packaging units and associated baking tins in the convenience baking product ranges are also becoming smaller.
Winter baking ideas for those who love to cook from Oetker. Photo Dr. Oetker
The advent season is the prime time for cooking
As the colder seasons sweep in, many households start to bake more and Christmas spices are available in baking ranges before advent. Whether you bake to give yourself a treat or to share goodwill with your fellow men, biscuits are a popular advent mainstay for many in the run-up to Christmas. The motto here is the more colourful, the better. Baked goods manufacturers offer their customers a wide variety of decorative ingredients to trim their biscuits and cakes. Ready-made biscuit sets are also in at the minute. Cutters and recipe suggestions or christmassy jute bags, a sustainable form of festive packaging, are also contained in the patterned biscuit tins or vintage tins, along with the baking ingredients.
When were baking mixes invented?
Which genius invented baking mixes? The honour is held by Henry Jones, from Bristol in England. In 1845, he patented “Henry Jones’ Self-Raising Flour” as the world’s first baking mix.
It wasn’t much different from today’s ready mixes. The basic ingredients of every baking mix have always been, and still are, flour, salt and raising agents. Sugar, spices and other ingredients are added, depending on the recipe.
Back then, the ready mixes were intended for baking fresh bread on long ship journeys, as an alternative to the hard rusks. In the 1920s, other providers started getting in on the baking game. This was how General Mills, which is the fifth biggest food producer in the world today, got started in the convenience baking segment. They were the first to bring ready mixes into shops in the USA. The first ready mix was called Ginger Cake, followed by Gingerbread Cake, Cookie Mix, Devil’s Food Layer Cake and Party Layer Cake.
The Group developed a special baking mix that could also be made in a rice cooker in order to conquer the Japanese market for ready mixes in the 1960s. They took the fact that most Japanese households didn’t have a typical oven into account. However, this did not meet with resounding success.