Chef's Corner: Boost Sales with Baked Goods
Eleonora has a degree in Food Science and is a Certified Baker from the American Institute of Baking, with management studies in Barcelona, Spain. She has experience working with leading global food companies in research & development, technical sales, consumer engagement and catering.
What trends are you seeing in baked goods?
Cakes, muffins, donuts, breads, and cookies are staples in any bakery operation. However, what is driving sales growth are sophisticated twists on classics. For example, caramel topped with sea salt, chocolate chip cookies with crispy bacon, cakes baked and frosted with botanical flavors like lavender and rose.
We are also seeing a lot of bake-at-home or finish-at-home baking kits. This is because consumers are seeking connections and a way to create memories. You can facilitate that by offering a kit of cookies or cupcakes with icing and sprinkles on the side for consumers to decorate at home.
With COVID-19 we are noticing smaller portions in baked goods. Since consumers are trying to stay home and social distance, there is less demand for large, shareable cakes. Operators are considering smaller cakes and single serving treats.
The gluten-free, vegan, and plant-based trends continue to growth. Consider offering sweet treats designed for the needs of these health-minded consumers.
I predict pie will be big in 2021. Prepared with unusual ingredients, it can be a great canvas for a creative baker.
How can operators introduce unusual baked goods onto their regular menu?
Operators should take advantage of their social media outlets to update customers of their daily specials. Consumers are becoming more adventurous and they like to engage. Consider posting short “behind the scenes” videos of how you make your baked goods or surveys to vote on the flavors for the next day.
What flavors are trending in baked goods?
Flavors like dulce de leche, s’mores, butterscotch, marshmallow, and hazelnut are on the rise. Ginger, elderflower, and rum raisin flavors are beginning their ascent. Global flavors are trending as well as fusions.
Operators should always consider local ingredients and partner with local farms as providers. Make sure you communicate this to your consumers. They will appreciate the sense of community and support of local commerce.
Your suggestion for a simple, yet interesting baked good option that will provide a high ROI for operators?
Cakes and cookies typically provide high ROI for operators, and consumers are attracted to sophisticated versions of these classics. We suggest our Lemon Chamomile Cookies as an addition to your menu. Lemons are traditionally associated with summer, but some varieties like Meyer lemons are at the peak or their season during winter. Take advantage of that and prepare this upscale version of a traditional butter cookie.
What do you feel motivates consumers to purchase baked goods?
Many baked goods are sold during early morning hours out of the need for breakfast. Paired with coffee, I cannot think of a better way to start your day. The snacking occasion is also a driver –consumers may consider baked goods for a mid-afternoon pick me up or an after dinner treat. Finally, baked goods are always present during celebrations. Imagine a birthday party without a cake - how sad would that be?
Convenience is also a driver of sales. Think of ways in which you can provide your baked goods with less hassle and faster service to your customers. Consider food delivery options, curbside pick-up, and mobile orders.
What are the benefits of offering a variety of baked goods options?
Offering a variety of baked goods can bring new customers to the door and maintain the excitement of regulars. Recipe rotation is very important. Cakes, cookies, brownies, muffins, croissants, and cinnamon rolls are always in high demand. Variety and access to consumers’ favorites keep them coming back for more.
Do not forget to expand your beverage menu to complement your selection of baked goods. Exciting lattes and a variety of well-crafted beverages can bring new customers to your business.