The hyper-connected millennials’ and Gen Z’s desire to seek attention by being non-conformist and deviating from norms is pushing the sales of the calorie-rich Chinese chocolate croissant, known as ‘dirty bread’, to stratospheric heights in China but it is unlikely to last long, according to leading data and analytics company, GlobalData.
The ‘dirty bread’ concept was originated from a local bakery in Beijing, Bad Farmers & Our Bakery. It is made with a large amount of chocolate and cream, and covered in cocoa powder to create a ‘dirty’ appearance, a messy eating experience, and chocolate stains after eating, hence the word ‘dirty’ in the name.
Over the past few months, many consumers, particularly young women, are increasingly sharing pictures of themselves on social media platforms with their face, fingers and teeth covered in dirty bread. This has created a huge internet type for the bread which is only available at limited hours every day. But the high calorie content makes it an indulgent treat that is going away from the mainstream health trend.
Irene Bi, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The most unique selling point of ‘dirty bread’ is the ‘dirty’ feature, which is the key element to creating an attention-grabbing picture for social media. However, as soon as the initial hype is gone, such an offering is unlikely to sustain its demand in the long term due to the negative health impact.”
GlobalData, in its survey during Q3 2016, found health to be a priority when it comes to food choices over experience. In the survey, Chinese consumers aged 18-24 were asked what factors had the most influence on their food product choice. The results showed that significantly more people chose health and wellness (23%) over sensory benefits (5%).
Bi concludes: “Instagrammable or WeChat-worthy food may be sufficient to entice consumers to experiment in the first place, but to make it a longstanding trend rather than a short-lived fad, it is vital to make sure that the offering is aligning with more important consumer needs.”