For years, bread has been the ultimate go-to component of nearly every meal. Whether it’s a bread basket or a bun, bread is big.

Case in point—grocery shoppers are utilizing in-store bakeries to supplement meals at home, according to “What’s in Store 2013,” an annual trends report produced by the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association (IDDBA), Madison, Wis. In fact, shoppers made 13 ISB purchase trips on average, up one visit in the same timeframe from the year before, and spent on average $4.58 per trip, says Nielsen Perishables Group FreshFacts Shopper Insights, powered by Spire data. Key drivers of this trend are convenience, indulgence, portion control and global flavors.

Enter the gang of goodness. Today’s bread producers are taking America’s favorite food item and making it even better.

Smart carbs, smart eating. Kontos Foods, Inc., Paterson, N.J., re-launched its SmartCarb flatbread as Greek Lifestyle Flatbread. This hand-stretched flatbread was specifically formulated to appeal to protein-seeking, carb-conscious consumers.

Kontos Foods also launched authentic French-style Traditional and Savory Crepes for foodservice establishments. Dubbed the Lite, Elegant Skinny Wrap, it can be used to create low-calorie sandwiches, appetizers, meals and desserts, and are significantly lower in calories, fat, carbohydrates and sodium vs. other breads and wraps.

Hand-crafted, consumer approved. Freeport, N.Y.-based Love and Quiches Desserts introduced Greek Yogurt Cheesecake, a modern twist that’s higher in protein and lower in fat than traditional cheesecake.

The Bistro Gourmet Bakery, the Peoria, Ill.-based foodservice dessert portfolio of Chicago-based Hillshire Brands Co., launched an expanded Bistro Collection line of gourmet cakes, each hand-crafted and individually portioned. These thaw-and-serve cakes come in Chocolate Raspberry Duet, Harvest Caramel Apple, Lemon Mousse Melody, Roasted Pistachio Mascarpone and Chocolate Peanut Butter Thunder varieties.

Mini in size with life-size powers. No, you’re not seeing things. Desserts are shrinking in size. But, despite the initial gasp of, “Oh my, where did my treat go?” lies a trend where less is actually more. According to Datasessential MenuTrends, 33% more menus feature a miniature dessert option than just four years ago.

Denver-based Ticklebelly Desserts unveiled Cakebabies, a line of one-bite cake wonders packaged in portable, individually-sized portions available in single-flavor six-packs. They come in Coconut, Triple Chocolate, Sea Salt Caramel and Red Velvet.

It’s no wonder consumers are flocking to the dessert menu, or carving out time in their shopping trip to visit the in-store bakery. Today’s tasty treats bring a whole gang of goodness in one small, portion-controlled bite.

 To learn more about these and other new bakery products and desserts, go to