Tortillas, Flatbreads on an Upswing Before Cinco de Mayo

Mesquite chicken tacos

Globally influenced fare is a staple of American culinary culture, and tortillas and flatbreads are two items that consumers are grabbing off store shelves at a rapid rate. The ramp-up to Cinco de Mayo — the May 5 holiday celebrating the victory of the Mexican Army over the French at the Battle of Puebla — is a natural fit for Mexican-inspired dishes, however, tortillas and flatbreads are having their time in the spotlight for several reasons.

At-Home Cooking, Planning Fatigue

There’s no doubt that the pandemic changed the way consumers are approaching mealtimes. However, home cooking and meal preparation are having a resurgence now that adults are gradually heading back to work. Jim Kabbani, executive director of the Tortilla Industry Association, told Baking Business: “In-home cooking has always been a key element of tortilla utilization, so the product’s formats and channels were already well-suited when this trend grew.” But, in-home cooking is losing its luster. Datassential found that 65% of consumers admitted they are tired of cooking at home. They’re running out of ideas after a year of the pandemic, and they’re looking for ways to create new recipes, reaching for items in this category.

IRI data shows that more than 60% of the dollar growth in the 52 weeks ended Nov. 20, 2020, amounted to approximately 1.8 million new consumers in the pita/flatbread category. Sales for tortillas grew an outrageous 22%, around $2.7 billion, which dominated the overall bakery aisle category, which grew 9.4%. Pita/flatbreads also outperformed overall bakery, with a 13.5% jump, showing that consumers are looking to new, versatile ways to feed their families.

Product Versatility

Baking Business noted, “tortillas and flatbreads are an ingredient delivery platform. They work well as components of a multi-ingredient meal or can be eaten alone.” Not only do they simplify life, but they provide a foundation for a multitude of meal ideas. Kara Nielsen, food and drink director of global trend forecasting company WGSN, told Baking & Snack that tortillas and flatbreads are “good pantry staples, offering options made with a variety of ingredients and strong global origins.”

Why Honey? Better-for-You Perception

Consumers are looking for nutritious options across the board, including gluten-free products; lower sugar and carbs; and higher protein. For consumers looking for sweeter tortillas and flatbreads, manufacturers are turning to honey. Honey is perceived as a better-for-you sweetener, in fact, honey was named as America’s most preferred sweetener for the first time in 2020. Baking & Snack noted that today’s shoppers are savvy, and they’re reading ingredient labels more than ever before. “Simple, authentic, nutritious ingredients will remain a key priority for consumers.” There are some great made-with-honey tortillas and flatbreads on the market today, no doubt contributing to the sweet growth in this product category.

The first flatbread in our made-with-honey lineup comes from founder of Joseph’s, Joseph Boghos, who emigrated to America from Syria in 1952. With that, he brought a family pita bread recipe, which has expanded to a product line that includes the Lavash Flatbread, Honey Wheat. Low in fat and a good source of fiber, the five-pack can be used for roll-ups sandwiches, paninis and pizzas.

Photo Credit: Joseph's
Photo Credit: Tumaro's

Tumaros’ 8” Honey Wheat Carb Wise Wraps are positioned as a lower calorie, lower carb offering. There are no artificial colors or flavors, and there are three grams of protein and eight grams of fiber per wrap.

Fiber One Honey Wheat Wraps
are only 80 calories per wrap, and they provide seven grams of dietary fiber and six grams of protein per serving. Along with honey, ingredients include oat fiber, whole wheat flour, soy flour and soy protein.

Photo Credit: Fiber One
Photo Credit: LaTortilla Factory

LaTortilla Factory Low Carb Whole Wheat Tortillas are high in fiber, with 10 grams per 8” tortilla. There are no artificial sweeteners since these tortillas are sweetened with honey. Quinoa + Flax shine in these tortillas, which have only 60 calories each.

Looking for ways to formulate your next tortilla or flatbread with honey? Look no further to for great recipes, the science of honey’s composition and the latest flavor profile trends.