Adding vegetables won't make cake healthy, but will provide new flavors
- Adding vegetables to cake recipes could be the next big bakery trend, according to Ingredients Network. It would appeal to consumers who are trying to eat more healthfully and introduce new flavors to those craving novel culinary experiences.
- While many shoppers are already familiar with carrot cake, there are a variety of other vegetables that are suitable for baking. Beets, zucchini, parsnips, pumpkin and sweet potato can deliver a sweet flavor, while helping keep cakes moist.
- International grocery chains are already incorporating veggies into cake batter. Canada’s Loblaw’s sells a chocolate zucchini rustic cake under an in-store brand, and Asda in the UK offers a carrot, zucchini and orange loaf cake.
On the surface, vegetables and cakes seem like strange bedfellows. However, the two can complement each other, as evidenced by carrot cake and zucchini bread. This budding trend has the potential to make store-bought cakes seem healthier in the mind of consumers.
Cake inherently isn’t good for anyone. Adding vegetables will make them slightly healthier, but in the end, it’s still cake. Consumers will likely see baked goods with veggies as a better-for-you alternative, not the next superfood.
There are a number of options when it comes to incorporating the produce department into the bakery. Zucchini is often used in flourless cakes and its flavor is virtually undetectable. Pumpkin and sweet potatoes can add a sweet autumnal flavor while keeping added sugar down.
Many major food manufacturers have already embraced vegetables as a value-added ingredient. Green Giant makes mashed cauliflower and veggie tots, while Oh Yes! Foods produces frozen pizzas with 12 fruits and vegetables — including kale, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, butternut squash and more — right in the crust and sauce. Each pizza provides anywhere from three to five daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables.
These produce-focused products appeal to multiple demographics. Consumers of all ages trying to eat more healthfully would be drawn to these CPGs, as would parents trying to crowbar more vegetables into their children’s diets.
Expect to see more manufacturers and grocery chains incorporate vegetables into CPGs in a variety of ways. Adding zucchini or sweet potato to an otherwise unhealthy treat just may give shoppers the little nudge they need to indulge.
- Ingredients Network Mintel: vegetables are the future in healthier cakes