This is the next in our series of Supply Side Innovators featured in our Bake Twentyfive issue. Each weekday, we will spotlight a new Supply Side Innovator that can help you create the flavors, textures, and designs your customers will love.

According to the US Census, in 2017 there were 110.6 million unmarried people over the age of 18, equaling 45.2% of the American adult population. This is a marked shift from 1960, when 72% of the adult population was married. Whether living alone or living as a single in a multi-generational household, single-serve items conform to individualistic tastes and desires and dovetail with concern over food waste.

“We see an increased emphasis on single-serve sizing in convenient packaging and forms, sold in café bakeries for a quick grab-and-go bite,” says Elisa Maloberti, director, Egg Product Marketing, the American Egg Board.

Smaller portions or single serve sizes fit the efforts of Gen Z and millennials to avoid food waste, a growing concern in that population segment, according to a report from the American Bakers Association released in the spring. For example, three-fourths of consumers are bothered by wasting bread and more than half would buy more baked items if they came in smaller portions.

Maloberti identifies one key trend as choux pastry on the rise. It can be molded into various shapes such as eclairs or cream puffs and then piped with any type of filling imaginable, either sweet or savory.

“Recently at the Research Chefs Association we highlighted the versatility and functionality of eggs with a pastry cream demonstration and tasting samples of a sweet strawberry basil beet and a savory purple corn and hatch chile version of a pate choux,” Maloberti says. “In the pate choux dough the eggs help create the crisp outer shell, while supplying flavor and color to the choux pastry. The custard fillings, which rely on eggs for their smooth texture and rich flavor, can incorporate spices and flavors from popular ethnic cuisines. This type of item also provides the consumer with a multi-textural eating experience, which is also trending.”

There’s another trend toward offering an elevated beverage service in bakeries and cafes. It gives retail outlets a point of differentiation and makes them a destination. For instance, when you offer tiramisu coffee, with a creamy vanilla egg custard topping – you’ve elevated your coffee offerings and given customers another reason to enjoy your creativity. “Authenticity isn’t going anywhere but will become more firmly entrenched, as well as the desire for natural foods and ingredients whenever possible. Egg products can help supply both.”

Fast facts

Eggs contribute to texture in traditional baked goods in a variety of ways. Lecithin from the egg produces a better crumb color, tenderizes the crust and lends the product a smooth texture, while maintaining grain uniformity and lengthening product shelf life. Eggs will aerate for proper structure. Egg whites, in particular, aerate batters by creating a foam up to six or eight times greater than the original liquid.

Eggs provide more than 20 functional properties that work synergistically in formulation including coagulation, thickening, binding and protein enrichment.