A new survey, conducted in the USA by Angus Reid Strategies for Lallemand during the first week of September, reveals that a larger proportion of American consumers (44% compared to 37% last year) believe that vitamin D plays a great role in maintaining or improving their health. More than three quarters of the survey’s respondents (79%) believe that vitamin D plays a great or moderate role in their health. These new results suggest a growing awareness of vitamin D and therefore a greater opportunity to seize by the baking industry.

This Angus Reid survey offers an interesting new peek into American respondent’s perception of vitamin D and preferences for bread:

The most common health benefits associated with vitamin D are protection against osteoporosis and fracture risk (46%), cardiovascular disease (19%) and cancer (18%).

The most common food source associated with vitamin D is milk (74%), followed by yogurt (40%), orange juice (21%) and cereals (18%). Only 10% perceive bread as a source of vitamin D.

The most important factors influencing consumer’s bread purchasing decisions (factors ranked either 1 through 5 by respondents) were taste (78%) and price (72%) followed by fiber content (56%) and natural ingredients (54%). Vitamin fortified (37%) came ahead of low fat (32%) and low sodium (26%).

Concerning the vitamin content of bread, more consumers say they would prefer to buy bread that is naturally rich in vitamins (56%) than to buy bread that is fortified with vitamins (6%).

Helping to satisfy consumers’ quest for more natural and vitamin D rich ingredients, during the regular production process Lallemand’s yeast is exposed to a source of light that naturally transforms the sterols present in yeast into vitamin D. In this way, all Lallemand bakers yeasts (Eagle Yeast®, American Yeast®, Instaferm®) are natural and vegetarian sources of vitamin D that can enhance the vitamin D content of baked goods, and of bread in particular.