A is for Aroma. The sensory experience of fresh-baked goods remains one of the biggest draws to the instore bakery. Baking fresh on premise is significantly preferred over thaw-and-sell alternatives and can boost sales of pre-packaged products, like a 4-pack of muffins, particularly when they highlight the baked fresh on date, according to Jayne Kearney, marketing manager, Bake’n Joy Foods, North Andover, Massachusetts.

B is for Bars. Bakery sales of snack bars continue to grow, registering $6,140.3 million in 2018. Rise Baking Company, Minneapolis, produces gourmet crispy bars in trays, slabs, bites and individually wrapped options. The thaw-and-serve bars come in Marshmallow, Peanut Butter, Fruity, Sea Salt Caramel, Birthday Cake, Marshmallow made with M&Ms, Chocolate Marshmallow, Monster and Mini Marshmallow varieties.

C is for Clean label. Consumer desire for transparency of ingredients, growers and production methods means clean, easy-to-read labels are more important than ever. This includes labels showcasing the reduction of sugar. Cargill, Minneapolis, predicts the redesign of the nutrition facts panel with the inclusion of added sugar will result in the necessity of reformulated products featuring reduced sugar or smaller-sized full-sugar portions.

D is for Display. Service and self-service display cases help bakeries stay current and drive sales. Dover Food Retail, Conyers, Georgia, recommends looking at the bakery as an entire entity with all items and process flows working together to prevent margin bleed within the department. By helping bakeries focus on specific products and menus, Dover Food Retail’s Design Center can help bakeries create an entire department program.

E is for E-commerce. Kokil Singh, principal, Client Insights, IRI, cites growing interest in e-commerce channels for food purchase. Dorothy Lane Market, Dayton, Ohio, sells made-in-store bakery products such as Killer Brownies, Laura’s Cookies, Ghyslain Chocolates and artisan bread to consumers instore and online through the DLM mail order program.

F is for Field Testing. Looking for a place to experiment with bakery equipment and new recipes? AIB International, Manhattan, Kansas, offers bakers a confidential space to conduct trials and receive technical and educational support from bakery experts who offer expertise in breads, sweet goods, crackers, pizza and laminated dough.

G is for Gluten-free. Gluten-free remains one of the most asked for allergen-free options in the bakery. Offering gluten-free items meets the needs of the 1% of the population who have celiac disease and offers a feel-good option for those looking to make healthy lifestyle choices. The efforts of food scientists ensure today’s gluten-free products no longer resemble the “cardboard” products of a decade ago.

H is for Hygienic. Koenig Bakery systems, Ashland, Virginia, offers its “H” hygienic design series. The Artisan SFM dough sheeting line in “Easy Clean Design” provides optimized access, a completely open design and easy-to-open safety clasps and levers for access to parts without tools. Sealed bearings enable cleaning of the line with low-pressure water.

I is for Inclusions. Inclusions of all varieties continue to be a draw for bakery consumers. Corbion, Lenexa, Kansas, offers SweetPro solutions, helping bakers keep fruit inclusions and other ingredients from sinking to the bottom or drying out, enabling the level of freshness consumers expect. SweetPro also helps ensure quality and consistency during reformulation and production.

J is for Juice bar. Bakeries embracing the grocerant format are finding new ways to attract foot traffic throughout the day with in-store specialty coffee shops and juice bars located close to the instore bakery. Customers can grab a just-baked sweet good treat along with a fresh brew or fresh-squeezed fruit juice in one easy stop.

K is for Kouign Amann. The Breton cake was called “the fattiest pastry in all of Europe” by the New York Times. The yeast-leavened dough forms a multi-layered cake with alternating tiers of butter and sugar. Served by a limited number of bakeries in the U.S. and Canada, kouign amann’s cult-like following has signs of reaching cronut levels of popularity.

L is for Labeling. Labels are the one piece of advertising that a retailer or manufacturer gets to put directly into the consumer’s home that lasts the life of the product, according to Yerecic Label, New Kensington, Pennsylvania, a supplier of pressure-sensitive labels. The company’s BackFlip! label features full-color printing on the underside so shoppers can see additional messaging when the clamshell is opened.

M is for Mini. Smaller sized portions make indulgence more appealing for single- and small family millennials and Gen Z consumers. Instead of basing servings on a 4-person family, retailers are finding success offering single slices of cake and pie, mini and half pies and smaller-sized muffins, bars, cookies and donuts. Reduced sizes help encourage impulse purchases and experimentation with new flavors.

N is for Nutrients. IDDBA’s What’s In Store Bakery report found that consumer interest in nutrients is strongest among young consumers with a household income of $50,000 or more. This demographic is more likely to be looking for bakery products with attributes of reduced sugar, no preservatives, higher fiber and no artificial ingredients.

O is for Ovens. With instore space at a premium, bakeries continue to look for ovens with a smaller footprint that maximize the revenue per square foot and provide efficiency, versatility and energy savings. The ONE series from Revent, Inc., Somerset, New Jersey, eliminates door swing with a sliding pocket door, saving valuable instore space and reducing the chance of employee burns from door swing.

P is for Product Claims. Highlighting nutritional claims such as free-from, whole grain and no preservatives can help a bakery tell their story while also meeting the growing desire among consumers for better-for-you profiles. Enhanced nutrition in single-serve and mini portions allows shoppers permission to indulge with an enhanced halo of health.
Q is for Quarantine. A growing percentage of shoppers have a food allergy or are shopping for someone with a food allergy. Allergens impact an estimated 15 million Americans, including 6 million children, according to IDDBA’s Safe Food Matters! Focus on Allergens report. Proper quarantining of allergen materials is a critical step in reducing cross-contamination.

R is for Reheating. Belshaw Adamatic, Auburn, Washington, meets a growing need for bakers to reheat frozen baked goods at point of sale. The company’s BX Eco-touch convection oven meets the trend of making baked goods ahead of time in addition to par-baking and baking from scratch. The steam injection on demand feature gives bakers control of shine, color and crust depth, according to the company’s website.

S is for Shoppers. Grocery shopping is a family affair for Hispanic consumers and the instore bakery receives regular traffic from Hispanic Millennial shoppers. Twenty-six percent of Hispanic millennials said they will make a special trip to the in-store bakery, compared with 19% of the overall average and 20% of Hispanic non-millennials, according to Billy Roberts, senior food and drink analyst, Mintel. 

T is for Trend Watch. According to IDDBA, 2019’s three key trends in the bakery are indulgence, increasing product claims and identifying with the changing needs of today’s typical instore bakery customer. The instore bakery currently has less appeal for younger, single and childless consumers. To grow the customer base beyond traditional boomer and silent generation shoppers, instore bakeries will need to focus on becoming relevant to younger consumers through a focus on smaller portion sizes, sampling opportunities and enhanced marketing.

U is for Upscale Packaging. Consumers throughout the store demand packaging that’s designed to protect, provide easy carrying and ensure safety while enhancing convenience and appeal. Uniquely shaped sizes and containers, hangables and single-use options are recent innovations. Feature-rich solutions can add to a brand’s perceived value and extend brand recognition beyond point of purchase.

V is for Value. Lawrence Foods, Elk Grove Village, Illinois, is a manufacturer of premium bakery ingredients such as crème fillings, dry mixes, fondant, fruit fillings and glazes, icings and nutrition bar components. The company’s Pantry Utility program teams with foodservice operators to create value-added SKUs to help turn inventory and create signature styles.

W is for Waste Reduction. Quality packaging can enhance display options and help extend the life of a product, reducing unnecessary waste. Inline Plastics, Shelton, Connecticut, produces Essentials Surelock for use in the bakery. The label friendly, single-piece clamshell is made of 100% recyclable DPET and is secure, stackable and easy to open and reseal.

X is for Cross-over Products. Bourbon pecan pie, Moscow mule cupcakes, cornbread with Everything seasoning, Smore’s brownies and dulce de leche donuts are offering consumers new twists on traditional favorites and more reasons to make repeat visits to the instore bakery to see what’s new.

Y is for Youthful Demographic. Use of authenticity, transparency and creativity is a smart way to attract millennials and Gen Z to the instore bakery, according to IRI. Bakeries can employ marketing to tell the story of the ingredients, where the products are produced and highlight who is making the products. When done well, these attributes help bakers tell a compelling, feel-good narrative that connects with consumers.

Z is for Zero-waste Initiatives. Mintel cites sustainability as a forward-trend with the ability to span the product lifestyle. This includes a 360-degree approach to prolonging the use of resources using recycled materials and incentivizing recycling. New packaging options look to reduce or eliminate the use of BPA, perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), expanded polystyrene, styrene, plastics, heavy metals, butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), propylene glycol for more environmentally friendly options.