Baking & Snack - February 2021 - 45

TRENDS
Tortilla & Flatbread

THE WORLD IS

Versatility, value and health claims
drive double-digit growth for
tortillas and flatbreads.
by Beth Day

T

Tortillas and flatbreads have benefitted from growing interest in global cuisines, the popularity of Mexican foods,
and the persistent perception of a healthy halo. However,
it is the ripple effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19)
pandemic that will significantly increase sales of bakery
items as consumers cook and eat at home.
" Value and flexibility will drive shopping trends creating opportunity for tortillas and flatbreads that can be
used as a vehicle for countless recipes and eaten at all
times of day, " said Kara Nielsen, director, Food & Drink,
WGSN, a global trend forecasting company. " They are
good pantry staples, offering options made with a variety of ingredients and strong global origins. "
In the 52 weeks ending Nov. 20, 2020, sales for tortillas jumped more than 22% to $2.7 billion, outpacing
the overall bakery aisle, which grew 9.4%, according to
IRI. Though a smaller subcategory, pita/flatbreads also
topped overall bakery growth rate with 13.5% increase.
" Grocery retail and the bakery aisle in general continue to have strong growth as the pandemic rages on, " said
Tim Grzebinski, client insights principal for dairy and
bakery, IRI. " Tortillas and flatbreads are outperforming
the entire bakery aisle as compared with bread, English
muffins and bakery snacks, both during the height of
pandemic and most recently. "

haviors boosting growth for the flatbread category by
bolstering the number of new buyers.
More than 60% of the dollar growth in the latest period was due to new buyers for pita/flatbreads with roughly 1.8 million new consumers entering the category, as
compared with about 4 million new buyers for tortillas,
according to the IRI data.
While health and wellness have played a role in both
categories, heightened usage occasions seem to be a key
driver for flatbreads. At the end of the day, it will be important for producers of both categories to understand
their new buyers to repeat purchases even when the
pandemic subsides, Mr. Grzebinski observed.
Naan has experienced explosive expansion, posting
20% growth rates for the past three years. American
consumers discovered the distinctive nature of the product, and they use it to elevate everyday meals and snacks.
" Stonefire [branded] products have driven growth
with unique taste and texture that replicates authentic naan, " said Jim Gibson, vice president of marketing
at FGF Brands, Toronto. " The segment has evolved to
conveniently meet the alternative usages by expanding
beyond the traditional shape used as a tear-and-share
bread for soups and sauces, including Mini Naan and
bite-size naan, like Stonefire Naan Dippers. "

Flatbreads bring in new crowds

Making life easy

Though the tortilla category is larger and posted stronger growth, the pandemic has influenced consumer be-

Cooking at home will thrive at least through mid-2021,
since many families will still be working and learning

The growing popularity
of tortillas is due to their
versatility and their perceived healthy halo.
©julie208 - stock.adobe.com

www.bakingbusiness.com / February 2021 Baking & Snack 45


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