Making dough: Bakery department as a differentiator in retail business

Supermarkets have been baking up a storm in recent years, and customers have been flocking to their favorite retail locations in droves to snag something crispy, warm and delicious, according to Packaged Facts. The latest research shows Americans spent $20 billion on sweet baked goods like cookies and cakes, and a significant percentage of these purchases happen at the in-store bakery counter.

As more grocery┬ástores see the golden-brown light that is fresh baked goods, the novelty of simply having a bakery on-site won’t be enough to attract consumers. However, in practice, in-store bakeries can imbue supermarkets with the power to differentiate themselves from the competition in several crucial ways.

Let your imagination run free
Why do shoppers line up at the bakery department? Of course, they want fresh staples like hot bagels, donuts, pastries and artisan breads, but with the right commercial baking equipment, anyone can turn out these well-loved products and capitalize on their popularity.

“Who knows what tomorrow’s next big baked good will be or where it will come from?”

The advantages of selecting a line of multipurpose bakery assets and investing wisely start with giving employees and managers the freedom to bake just about anything their hearts – or their customers’ appetites – desire. Who knows what tomorrow’s next big baked good will be or where it will come from?

Additionally, it’s worth mentioning the benefits of in-store bakery equipment and experimentation can have on a supermarket’s other departments, namely prepared foods. A varied selection of breads, for example, can really accent a sandwich menu.

Appeal to an international audience through baking
Inspiration for new bakery products can come from anywhere, but supermarkets that have played it safe for too long may want to consider how incorporating international fresh food options could bring in a more culturally diverse customer base.

Consider research on consumer shopping trends conducted by Nielsen: Although as a global community, people shop for fresh food about two and a half times every week, Latin American shoppers buy fresh breads and baked goods more than four times weekly. For truly traditional cuisine, this demographic may┬áneed to divide their grocery lists and travel to multiple locations to fill their fridges with the foods they love the most. Why not give shoppers the best of both worlds? Let the bakery deliver where other stores don’t.

That said, supermarkets will need to invest in commercial baking equipment capable of producing treats that meet the standards of discerning customers. A menu that caters internationally isn’t only about supplying customers with a facsimile of their favorite foods, but honoring the history behind the recipes with high-quality ingredients and careful attention to every detail.