“One trend we are following closely is a rise in purchases of permissible indulgences,” explains Paula Labine, marketing director, Baking, Milling & Starch, ADM. “As consumers seek to balance their emotional and mental health, they are granting themselves greater license to shop for comfort foods, often in the form of snacks and baked goods.”

Sugar reduction is also more important than ever as consumers take a proactive approach to improving their health. ADM’s research shows eight out of 10 consumers are reducing their sugar intake, with 79% cutting back sugar in bars and snacks and 70% in baked goods.

In addition, ADM anticipates growing consumer desire for wholesome, nutritious foods will continue to fuel formulations with nutrient-dense ingredients such as plant proteins, whole and ancient grains, as well as ingredients that offer functional benefits like immune function support or digestive health.

“We see that consumers are experimenting with a wide range of eating approaches, with a preference for lifestyle diets focused on wellness, sustainability or animal welfare,” Labine says. “Gluten-free continues to be a lasting trend, enhanced by broader demand for allergen-free products. Keto is exploding in popularity this year, signaling a rising desire to address glycemic health concerns. Vegan and plant-based foods are also highly sought after, so ensuring baked goods labels reflect applicable claims is key.”