In this article, we take a look at the 15 countries with the best bread in the world. If you want to skip our detailed analysis of the bread industry, you can directly go to 5 Countries With the Best Bread in the World.
Who could have imagined that people on Reddit would have such strong opinions regarding bread? But as it turns out, the population is divided on where it stands when it comes to picking the world’s best bread-baking country. The contenders are many, each with their own supporters, which is what is bound to happen in a market as vast as bread. In 2020, the global bakery products market size was $397.9 billion, with bread dominating the biggest share in the industry. The huge market share of bread makes sense once you factor in that barley is one of the most consumed foods in the world.
The entire bakery products market is projected to grow to $590.54 billion by 2028 at a CAGR of 5.12%. Bakery products are convenient and affordable to consume, which adds to their popularity. The increasing innovation in this market is another reason for its growing size. Some estimates say that there are over 100 varieties of bread available throughout the globe, which makes something as simple as consuming bread into a whole experience. Countries with the most variety of food boast a diverse platter of bread types, each being associated with a different meal altogether.
Bread is a vastly consumed and diversified product because it is a considerable part of Western diets. Europe currently has the highest market share in bakery products. This massive intake means that people are on the search for healthier bread options, such as breads that may be high in whole grain, high-fiber, or omega-3 content. In Italy specifically, there is a growing trend of gluten-free bread, in accordance with the health and wellness trend in the country. Western Europe is also witnessing vegan and plant-based claims on bread, as many consider it a better option.
As people become more cognizant of the bread quality they consume, the market is also witnessing a rise in the creation of artisanal breads. Even though globally, 64% of consumers make their bread purchases at the supermarket, around 30-40% consider artisanal bakery products to be better in terms of quality, taste, or even price. These breads are manufactured in smaller batches by local bakers and can offer a better flavor profile than factory-made supermarket bread.
Despite the perceived superior taste of artisanal products, most people would still buy pre-packed bread, which is currently dominating the market. One of the biggest bread companies in the US right now is Flowers Foods Inc (NYSE:FLO), with multiple bread brands under its belt and an annual revenue of $4.8 billion in 2022. Moreover, after the second quarter of 2022 concluded, the CEO of Flowers Foods Inc (NYSE:FLO) reported positive buying behaviors and upward profits in its specialty loaf and breakfast categories. Notably, the sale of Dave’s Killer Bread significantly improved among middle and lower-income consumers of Flowers Foods Inc (NYSE:FLO).
Campbell Soup Company (NYSE:CPB) is another top bread-selling company in the US, boasting a revenue of $9.4 billion for the fiscal year 2023. Campbell Soup Company (NYSE:CPB) started in the soup market, but since then, it has grown to include several other products. Currently, one of the brand’s best-performing segments is its snacking division, driven by a growing demand for easy-to-consume snacks. Either way, Campbell Soup Company (NYSE:CPB) is proof that companies can diversify their markets and conquer more avenues than one.
The US has some excellent bread companies, but the craving doesn’t see a place before striking. Even when people are touring the rest of the world, they’d love to get their daily bread fix. This is why we have compiled a list of the best bread-making countries in the world. White bread is one of the world’s favorite breads, but there is much to explore.
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To rank 15 countries with the best bread in the world, we referred to Reddit to hear it directly from the consumers. We took into consideration the number of mentions and upvotes on each country in order to formulate this ranking. The countries that showed up in the most comments with most upvotes managed to make it to the list, and they are organized in descending order of scores here on a scale of 1-15 here.
Based on this methodology, here is our ranking of the 15 countries with the best bread in the world:
15 Countries With the Best Bread in the World
Within Europe, Austria is one of the countries most famous for its bread-making capabilities. The bread and bakery goods industry in Austria is the 7th largest within Europe. Many experts consider Austrian flour to be one of the best in the world, which contributes to the excellence of the country’s bread products. Austria’s most popular bread type is the Semmel, a round roll made using wheat flour.
Bread has proven to be one of the most sustainable industries in Afghanistan despite the decades of war the country has been through. This is mainly because the product is cheap and proves resourceful during the economic hardships of war. Flatbread, known as ‘naan’ in the local language, is one of Afghanistan’s most popular breads. This kind of bread costs a few US cents a piece, making it popular with middle-income and lower-income communities as well.
Japan’s bread and cereals industry was valued at $26.4 billion in 2021. Breads are not the largest segment in the Japanese baking market, but they’re popular enough for Japan to be considered one of the countries with the best bread in the world. ‘Milk bread’ is one of the most popular types in the country, particularly famous for its texture and mouthfeel, which is softer than many other breads on the market.
Turkey is the country with the highest bread consumption per capita per year, totaling up to 440 pounds. As per recent trends, the consumption of white bread in Turkey has decreased, while brown and variety breads have increased. In light of the increasing inflation in the country, Turkish bakeries have started seeing a massive number of people lining up every day to buy bread at the cheapest prices they can find, as reported by Al-Jazeera. Istanbul even has a subsidized bread program that sells bread for $0.09 per loaf, cheaper than the bakery average of $0.18.
Poland is the world’s fifth largest exporter of bread, generating export revenue of up to $2.7 billion in 2022, as noted by Tridge. The bakery and cereals market size was estimated at $4.3 billion in 2021, with the bread and rolls segment taking up the largest chunk of the industry. Many Polish bakeries use old-school bread-making methods that add crispness to the end product and increase its caramel notes. While some consider this type of bread an acquired taste, others appreciate its flavor.
Iceland is considered one of the countries with the best bread in the world, much of which can be attributed to the unique methods it employs for its bread-making. The Icelandic rye bread is high in sugar and is baked underground using bubbling lava sand as the heat source. This brilliant technique sets the bread apart from its counterparts while showcasing how cuisines adapt to changing landscapes worldwide.
09. The Netherlands
Bread and rolls comprise the largest segment in the Dutch bakery and cereal products market, which was valued at $7.3 billion in 2021. The Dutch prefer light and airy breads, unlike some of the other denser options on this list. The people within the Netherlands themselves consume vast amounts of bread because of its healthy and fulfilling nature. The sweeter varieties are more famous in the country, often filled with raisins or currents.
There is a general trend of bread being a popular food option in war-torn countries, particularly because of its low prices during inflation and economic crises. Ukraine is known as the breadbasket of Europe, with the yellow color on its flag representing a wheat field. The importance of bread grew even more prominent during the Russian invasion, which cut off supply chains to many bakeries nationwide. A local farmer was reported saying that devotion to bread is within Ukrainian DNA, which can be why it is one of the countries with the best bread in the world.
Sustainability is a massive part of the Belgian bread industry, with most of the products being sourced within Belgium itself or neighboring countries. All the products are then locally milled, and bread is produced fresh every day. The Belgian bread and bakery industry is ranked 6th overall within Europe. The country even has a national bread association that focuses on keeping up with consumer trends, the latest of which are low-carbon and gluten-free bread.
International food guide TasteAtlas put out a ranking of the world’s 50 best breads, which mentioned Malaysia’s ‘roti canai’ as the best bread in the world. This type of flatbread is a top breakfast option in the country and is prepared very differently than Western varieties. The bread is cooked on a stove rather than being baked and resembles bread varieties in other South Asian countries such as Pakistan or India.
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Disclosure: None. 15 Countries With the Best Bread in the World is originally published on Insider Monkey.