Bite-sized bakeries: Why switch to smaller baked goods?

Itty-bitty baked goods are the next big thing in commercial baking. Businesses that adjust their processes to include the production of smaller items like cupcakes, pastries and bars stand to benefit greatly in valuable ways, and not just at point of sale, either. Let’s take a look at a few advantages bite-sized baked goods offer the typical commercial baking outfit:

Smarter use of resources
When commercial bakeries switch from standard sizing to smaller baked goods, they more easily track and utilize their raw ingredient spend. In a traditional bakery setting, a single “unit” may mean a full-sized product divided into eight pieces. Under that tracking system, how many bakery managers would account for uneaten slices when determining demand?

“With single-serving products, bakers know exactly how many units sold.”

Whereas with smaller, single-serving products, bakers know exactly how many units they sold and can calculate the per-unit ingredient spend with a greater degree of accuracy. When it comes time to procure more ingredients, bakers now have more granular data at their disposal with which to optimize their budgets.

Higher resale potential
Single-serving sizes also allow for greater sales potential as the lifecycle of the goods in question matures. Many consumers purchase once-fresh now packaged “day old” bakery products for their price and value.

But what resale strategy really works for half-eaten cake or pie? Dividing into single-servings costs extra on packaging for products that simply don’t appear appetizing to consumers because of how they’re prepared. However, what about a dozen day-old cake pops? Those have a higher potential of finding a customer in need of a quick dessert option for multiple people that doesn’t look like leftovers from someone else’s party.

Smarter merchandising
Nothing sells a delicious dessert than a real finished product in a display case. That said, that cake or pie won’t bake itself – it requires attention and resources. Every time bakeries have a new product to sell, they’ll have to eat the costs of baking a dessert for display.

“Smaller goods save businesses from unnecessary labor costs.”

From a merchandising perspective, smaller goods also save businesses from unnecessary labor costs. Smaller baked goods made a batch at a time leverage effective merchandising strategies integral to any commercial bakery with labor- and cost-efficient baking practices. A dozen cupcakes can still be profitable even if one goes unsold for merchandising purposes. Plus, a cupcake takes up less physical space than a full cake. In that respect, baking smaller products optimizes the room bakeries devote entirely to merchandising.

Better options for healthy eaters
These days, even the most easily tempted sweet tooth still looks to their bakers to help them moderate. Smaller baked goods may prove to be a powerful boon to profits when selling to health-minded consumers.

Consider findings from an IRI survey indicating one-third of millennial and baby boomer consumers are making fewer “impulse snack purchases,” with health as a major contributing factor in their decision to do so. IRI also discovered an increase in snacking frequency among millennials in particular. Couple that with an American Bakers Association survey that showed 1 in 5 “cake and pie users” may be prone to buying desserts more often if smaller portions were available.

What does that mean? More people eat more snacks throughout the day, but they specifically look for treats that won’t weigh them down or break the bank. Best of all, if bakeries decide to print the nutritional value of their goods on packaging or signage, they already have a premeditated serving size to use. With all that in mind, bakeries that offer a compromise for both through smaller, more affordable portions reclaim this health-conscious audience in the long term.

Greater portability drives sales
Continuing from our last point, mobility also matters for the success of any prepared foods, including baked goods. Consumers are constantly on the lookout for a quick bite, and sitting down for a slice of pie or cake doesn’t fit into their busy schedules, nor does transporting that slice seem conducive to an active customer. Single-serving treats, therefore, fit more easily into the on-the-go lifestyle. When consumers can enjoy their favorite baked goods on the way to wherever they need to be, they’re more likely to buy and buy often.

Moving to smaller portion sizes at your bakery today may seem like a no-brainer now, but doing so may require additional commercial equipment for businesses to retain value into the future. Contact a Horizon Bradco sales representative to find out what equipment you’ll need to shrink your snacks and grow your business.