Increasing impulse sales in the instore bakery is more than just delivering products consumers want. The most successful retailers also create experiences that connect with consumers on a deeper level — and keep them coming back for that all-important repeat visit. 

“I think the key for the instore bakery is about providing the experience, rather than just the function,” said Paul Baker, founder of Manchester, England-based St Pierre Bakery. “For shoppers, it’s emotional more than practical and that’s why it carries such great opportunities for retailers to drive impulse purchase, away from the grocery aisle.”

The grocery deli is where shoppers go for premium, quality products, Baker said. Once they’re in the perimeter, they often wander next store to the instore bakery area because it delivers that experience of fresh-made bread and baked goods that can’t be beat. 

It’s that setting, he said, that has secured St Pierre on-shelf standout and a point of difference.

“We’re a branded but quality product sitting in the grocery deli, offering new ways for consumers to experience great bakery. From our Eiffel tower stands that communicate our heritage to our inclusion in rustic bakery baskets, we help deliver an instore experience that doesn’t require any on-site bakers – perfect for the premium snacking opportunities.”

That, he added, is how the perimeter will draw consumers back in a post-COVID environment. By highlighting authenticity, cross-selling with the breakfast, brunch and snacking occasion products and clever merchandising, suppliers like St Pierre are able to provide the tools for retailers to maximize sales and basket spend — sorely needed in the aftermath of a global pandemic.

St Pierre’s innovative Eiffel Tower display stands have been proven to increase sales by more than 50%, Baker said, and the company is looking at similar merchandising tools for 2022 to support retailers in bringing more “wow” to the shopping experience. 

One huge advantage of the Eiffel Tower stands is that they’re on wheels, making them easy to move to group products by occasion and demonstrate product versatility that, Baker said, is so important to customers.

“Our branding, with the flash of orange, and where we sit instore has always been a point of difference for us,” he said. “St Pierre is the ‘original’ and it’s truly America’s favorite brioche. Our packaging is designed to highlight our authenticity as a quality French product and our packaging currently does that, with nods to Paris.”

St Pierre’s new look helps to dial up the company’s French heritage, provide even greater on-shelf stand-out and cement its position as category leader, Baker said. In 2022, the company will look at new formats for its stand-out merchandising to further supports retailers in cross-merchandising its products.

A key part for us St Pierre in communicating its brand message and generating impulse sales is by positioning the brand as a “lifestyle.” 

“We like to say St Pierre is a ‘taste of Paris’ with every bite, and that St Pierre is more than just food on your plate – it’s the experience it brings. As such, we branch out with merchandising, to create more than you might expect from a bakery business.”

As an example, last year St Pierre launched its Sales Enablement Platform for US retailers, an online hub so that every retailer or broker who partners with the company has access to tools that will maximize sales. 

From customer insights to branded merchandise and everything in between, the platform is a best practices toolkit engineered to capitalize on growing shopper appetite and ensure retailers get the most out of the St Pierre brand USPs, Baker said.

“Savvy retailers will monitor where growth is coming from and use that knowledge to drive impulse purchasing,” he said. “Nielsen data to the end of November shows that ambient croissants are in growth, up 17% year on year. Ambient waffles, meanwhile, are up 129% year on year.”

Retailers can maximize impulse purchases by reviewing what’s popular with shoppers – especially ahead of key holidays – and entice shoppers with pre-prepared party platters, or sharing platters grouped by meal occasion, he added.

That helps take stores from a functional visit to an experience and that’s the most effective way to increase basket spend and impulse purchase.