ANAHEIM, CA — For consumers, retailers and the bakery producers who supply them, 2023 is shaping up to be a “reset year,” according to the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association (IDDBA).

During IDDBA 2023, which took place June 4-6 in Anaheim, CA, Whitney Atkins, IDDBA’s VP of marketing, and Heather Prach, VP of education, shared insights into the top guiding trends, as outlined in the association’s What’s In Store trends guide.

These trends are indicators of what will shape the year ahead for IDDBA members.

Leading the trends was the notion of “Whole Health, Whole Heart, Whole Self.”

One of the biggest impacts of the pandemic years is consumers’ new notion of what healthy means. While people now place a heavier emphasis on their physical health, they’re also thinking about emotional wellbeing as an element of their overall health.


“Consumers are more educated about nutrition and physical health than ever before, and they want to know what they’re putting in their bodies,” Prach said. “But it’s also no longer taboo to talk about mental health or the overall pursuit of happiness.”

In fact, Prach noted that almost 80% of consumers relate emotional wellbeing to being healthy.

“There’s a balance here to combine indulgence as a treat and happiness, while still remaining healthy,” she said. “We know there’s a focus and awareness here, and very few people never think about health. At the same time, very few people only eat healthy 100 percent of the time.”

To that end, there also is no single definition of what “healthy” means for consumers. Factors like generational preferences, food allergies and results-based diets all play a role. And those factors are driving what consumers are looking for, especially in terms of label callouts.

This creates opportunities for baked goods manufacturers to capitalize on things like ingredient upgrades for calling attention to their products. In fact, IDDBA reported that 62% of shoppers want transparency of basic nutrition facts.

“Any and all attributes can be called out,” Prach said. “Whether it’s whole grains, high protein, organic, non-GMO or others. Labels matter.”

"People are celebrating and honoring themselves more. This goes beyond traditional holidays, and we are finding lots of reasons to celebrate." — Heather Prach | VP of education | IDDBA


Healthy attributes are especially important for indulgent baked goods as consumers seek balance in their food choices.

For example, the return to celebrations brings the opportunity for permissible indulgence in the name of wellbeing.

“People are celebrating and honoring themselves more,” Prach said. “This goes beyond traditional holidays, and we are finding lots of reasons to celebrate.”

Bringing this kind of balance into the wellness equation requires discipline. For example, having a slice of cake to celebrate something small on an average day is seen as part of a healthy lifestyle. But eating the whole cake takes away those happy feelings.

This is giving way to a heightened awareness of portion sizes and individual packaging, and it’s also playing into marketing strategies.

“Consumers have defined how we must build our marketing strategies as they go about being their best selves and create healthy spaces for their families,” Atkins said. “Your role as marketers is to create messaging to help them make those decisions.”

Focusing on quality attributes of a product can bridge the gap between health and indulgence for consumers. Removing artificial colors or using ingredients like plant-based or others that consumers deem as “clean” help them make those choices that strike balance in physical and emotional health.  


“There’s an emotional connection to food, and that tends to be multigenerational,” said Josh Becker, president of Clyde’s Donuts, who shared insights via Zoom during the presentation. “We hear countless stories like a dad who takes their kids out for a donut on Saturday morning because it’s their weekly time together. It’s memories like that that unlock a little bit of joy and make it worth the indulgence.”

As balance remains a centrifuge for health, deprivation is falling more and more by the wayside. IDDBA reported that 77% of consumers said it’s fine to occasionally indulge in treats.

“All these pieces fit together to help consumers be their whole self,” Atkins said.

That means it’s more important than ever to look at baked goods more holistically as part of diets, lifestyle and overall wellbeing.