Nielsen Perishables Group recently conducted an analysis to understand what makes some retailers more successful than others in the fresh bakery department. They ranked nearly 100 supermarkets to identify which were excelling in generating high average weekly bakery sales and experiencing above-average growth.

Six retailers were identified as clear bakery leaders. These top six generate more than 90% higher bakery sales on average than the remaining chains. Every category has a place in the bakery, but the top performing retailers figure out what matters most to their shoppers and ensure they manage those products well.

Commonalities of the top six instore bakeries include:

  • Highest velocities in core categories, but not as strong of an emphasis on bagels, donuts, brownies or specialty desserts.  
  • Two had extremely high bread velocities and dollar contributions.
  • Three led with high cake velocities, but low contributions to department dollar share (focusing on smaller items like cupcakes or dessert cakes likely).
  • None were overall dependent on a single category; none ranked in the top 10 for cake dollar contribution to department.
  • On the flip side, when Nielsen Perishables Group looked at retailers who did not fare well in the study, they found under-performing bakeries:
  • Have an over-emphasis on one of the anchor categories. This was often very high cakes contribution to total department sales but low breads and rolls contribution.

Choosing your focus categories should be influenced by one thing—what relates most to your shoppers, according to Nielsen Perishables Group. This shopper understanding applies as much to a focused retail bakeries as it does to a major supermarket bakery.