For the retail bakery industry as a whole, consumer trends play a crucial role in what today’s customers expect.

A speaker at Atlantic Bakery Expo, Erik Enyedy, director of marketing for Dawn Food Products, points out that people are greatly influenced by what they see around them, and bakeries can profit by turning every day into a celebration. ”How do we take these trends and bring them to life in your bakery?” he says. “It’s about the change around us and how do we make sense of it.”

Dawn has identified eight influential consumer trends, and one of them is “No Passports Required.” This trend is related to the fact that traditional food and beverage companies are taking on new flavors to appeal America’s growingly diverse population. Studies show that 13 percent of Americans are now foreign born and by 2050 the United States will have no ethnic majority. Bakeries can respond to this trend by adding more European-inspired bakery products and Hispanic flavors and forms, as well as embracing world holidays.

Another Dawn trend, “That’s Eatertainment,” relates to America’s foodie culture going mainstream. Three-fourths of adults are talking about food and two-thirds buy specialty items for everyday meals, Enyedy says. “Sit-down meals are becoming an occasion where food takes center stage.” For bakeries, this trend brings heightened play value into the equation, as customers want fun with their food. Examples of bakery responses to this trend include Cold Spring Bakery in Cold Spring, Minnesota, selling cut-out cookie decorating packs with icing included or Atlanta’s Sublime Doughnuts offering Happy Birthday donuts that are individually decorated in festive colors.