A recent consumer survey sponsored by the National Honey Board showcases honey’s versatility as an ingredient, delivering not only a sweet flavor profile, but also providing bakeries’ marketing and moisture retention benefits. The survey polled more than 400 retail bakers, and the National Honey Board was not revealed as the sponsor of the research.

According to the survey, 72% of retail bakers said they use honey in their bakery, the second most popular sweetener behind granulated sugar. When retail bakeries were asked their reasons for using honey, they listed the following top reasons:

55% - Flavor / sweetening

40% - All natural sweetener

26% - Customer appeal

23% - Humectancy / moisture retention

16% - Extended shelf life / mold inhibition

7% - Coloring

7% - Other (dissolves better, locally produced, recipe calls for honey)

“Honey has always been a popular ingredient in the baking industry for its ability to sweeten bakery foods and bring an exceptional flavor profile to a wide variety of products,” Catherine Barry, National Honey Board’s director of marketing, says. “However, retail bakeries are using honey in their bakery foods for much more than just flavor. They are using honey because it is natural, appeals to consumers and helps extend the shelf life of products by keeping them moist.”

Honey’s versatility as an ingredient helps retail bakeries deliver sweet treats and exceptionally-flavored breads, all while maintaining a natural product with a clean label.

The National Honey Board is a federal research and promotion board under USDA oversight that conducts research, marketing and promotion programs to help maintain and expand markets for honey and honey products.