Many people use Pinterest to predict the future. The social media platform has been very successful in recent years with reflecting what is trending in society in a variety of categories, including food, beauty, fashion, travel and much more.
In fact, in 2021, Pinterest reports that 8 out of 10 of its predictions for the year came true according to its search data. For its annual Pinterest Predicts report, which the platform describes as “a not-yet-trending report—a window into the future, from the place where people go to plan it,” several big trends will look to take hold in the coming weeks and months.
As far as cake decorating, expect to see bold, bright cakes with rich hues, alternate textures and metallic colors.
Individual portions were popular with weddings in 2021, and that will continue in 2022. Individual mini cakes will continue to be popular. Not only are they safe for guests, but they allow couples to choose a variety of flavors instead of settling on one.
In the food world, cake will be a priority. Pinterest says that people will craft elaborate cakes to express whatever mood they’re in. This will include such categories as:
- Gravity defying cake ideas (+70%)
- Unusual cakes (+2x)
- Art cake ideas (+3x)
- Bubble cake ideas (+55%)
- 3D cake ideas (+60%)
These trending cake terms are especially popular among Millennials, Gen X and Boomers, an overwhelming majority of the cake purchasers in the United States. Cake bakers can appeal to these consumers by using interest and keyword targeting to provide people with extraordinary cakes that will stand out from the crowd.
Many bakery visitors may even enjoy a slice of cake with a cup of tea. Another Pinterest trend sees afternoon tea becoming the new happy hour. Searches for “tea party aesthetic” and “drinking tea pose” are climbing across all age groups. Some of the ways Americans will look to accentuate their tea time include tea sandwiches and hot tea bombs, a variation of the hot cocoa bomb trend from 2021.
2021 saw a major increase in weddings in America as vaccines rolled out and mandates were reduced. That led to many trends developing for wedding receptions, many of which will roll over into the new year.
In 2022, part of the entertainment of wedding receptions will be a strong emphasis on the food offered. According to WeddingWire, couples and their caterers will take cuisine to the next level by adding a sense of whimsy to every course. They will infuse their menus with both cultural and sentimental dishes (for example, a version of the food from the restaurant where they had their first date or a favorite childhood dish).
“We’re seeing an emergence of thoughtful and unique personal touches added to the overall design to truly celebrate their love story,” says event planner Ashley Tangerini of Mavinhouse Events in New England.
Another way couples will add to the fun of their wedding day is food trucks. This can occur during the cocktail happy hour, main meal, dessert or late-night at the end of the reception.
“You simply can’t go wrong with a food truck,” says Natasha Celestin of Just4U Wedding Coordination and More in Fort Worth, Texas. “It’s definitely a head-turner and guest favorite for sure.”
The Pancake Cake
The latest sweet treat from Milk Bar combines a popular breakfast food and dessert in a unique way. The popular baking brand’s new Pancake Cake provides a unique taste and texture perfect for large groups.
The six-inch cake has pancake layers stacked between brown sugar cookie butter, maple frosting and brown butter crumbs. It’s then topped with a maple syrup glaze and an extra slab of butter.
“Serve warm, serve cold, serve by day, serve by night. There really are NO rules,” Milk Bar announced on Instagram.
The Pancake Cake is available for nationwide delivery and in-store at its locations in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Boston, Las Vegas, and Toronto.
Milk Bar recently collaborated with Mariah Carey a limited-edition cake featuring her Irish cream brand Black Irish and its salted caramel flavor. The Double Chocolate Caramel Cream Cake was made from a double chocolate chip cake with cheesecake, gooey caramel, coffee milk crumble and caramel frosting.
Bite-sized cupcake bakery brand Baked by Melissa has announced a new collaboration with clean personal care brand Native Cosmetics. Native x Baked by Melissa comes in four scents, two being exclusive to the collection, that will be available in both personal care products (deodorant, body wash, hair care) and cupcakes.
The scents include Tie-Dye Vanilla, Mint Cookie, Ginger Lemon (Exclusive), and Fresh Peach (Exclusive). Starting Jan. 4 on Native’s website and Jan. 26 at Target, the personal care products include regular & sensitive deodorant ($12), plastic free deodorant ($13), body wash ($8), shampoo ($9) and conditioner ($9).
Available through Baked by Melissa’s website, a limited-edition 25-pack of cupcakes is an online exclusive and features two brand new flavors, Ginger Lemonade (lemon cake iced with ginger vanilla) and Peach (peach cake & icing stuffed with marshmallow). It also features two of original flavors, Tie-Dye and Mint Cookie.
Key strategies for 2022
The baking industry will have a lot on its plate in 2022, and it can leverage pandemic-era lessons to address upcoming challenges.
Many of those lessons were relayed in American Bakers Association (ABA) webinars and Bake to the Future podcasts during the past year. Here are five strategies emphasized that will be imperatives in the coming year.
LESSON 1: SOLIDIFY SUPPLIER PARTNERSHIPS
Severe commodity price increases have impacted bakers for much of 2021, a period marked by extreme supply chain hurdles. An ABA podcast in June spotlighted this ongoing challenge and highlighted ways to attempt to reduce the problem. One of these is solidifying relationships with suppliers to improve communications and help companies better navigate and forecast.
“Definitely strengthen relationships with supply partners,” said podcast speaker Hayden Wands, Vice President of Global Procurement, Commodities, Grupo Bimbo. “We call them partners because that’s what they are. It takes a lot of coordination to bring ingredients into a bakery, and that need is really heightened now.”
LESSON 2: EMPHASIZE CAREER DEVELOPMENT
Career development is an essential strategy to attract, retain and advance baking industry employees in this more competitive talent market.
An ABA careers information webinar in July and now available on-demand outlined how a wide variety of approaches — from mentorships to leadership development efforts — are baked into the directions of major industry companies.
There are many different career paths — and opportunities to literally go from entry-level right up the boardroom. Let’s keep pumping up that message.
LESSON 3: FOCUS ON TECH EXPERIMENTATION
Emerging technologies — including artificial intelligence, machine learning, and virtual reality — will play important roles in the future of the baking industry. The use of these tools has accelerated in the wake of the pandemic.
Dennis Gunnell, IBIE 2022 Chair and President of Formost Fuji, iterated that IBIE 2022 in Las Vegas will be a very good showcase for learning more about technology. He spoke during an ABA podcast in September that looked ahead to IBIE (International Baking Industry Exposition), which is scheduled for Sept. 17-21 of 2022.
“We’re all experimenting and learning how to use technology such as virtual reality,” Gunnell said. “We’re learning how to adapt technology for areas including training and collaboration — and the show will highlight all this.”
LESSON 4: GO WITH THE GRAIN
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs) are only updated every five years, and the most recent version provides new opportunities to raise the profile of grains. That was the take from speakers in an ABA podcast in January of 2021, shortly after the new guidelines were unveiled. The guidelines are produced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
“Grains are positioned very well in the new guidelines,” said Lee Sanders, ABA’s Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs. “There are great opportunities for messaging to the public, health influencers, and policy influencers.”
LESSON 5: ADVOCATE FOR THE INDUSTRY
From supply shortages to workforce complexities, the baking industry has seen it all in the past year. ABA has been actively engaging with federal, state, and local governments in efforts to help reduce ongoing hurdles. Topics discussed include approaches for increasing the pool of truck drivers to solutions for alleviating shortages of soybean and other vegetable oils required by the baking industry.
ABA Members can make a difference by advocating for the industry with government officials.
There’s no better advocate for the industry than the industry itself. But that requires writing the letters, making phone calls, and participating in the Zoom meetings to tell the stories.