Optimism Ahead

All signs point to a successful holiday season for retail bakeries.
 
Bakery retailers should have plenty to be thankful for in the coming holiday season. According to The NPD Group’s 2016 Holiday Purchase Intentions Survey, consumers plan to spend an average of $636 on holiday-related expenses, up 3 percent from what they anticipated last year.

When questioned more broadly, 14 percent of consumers plan to spend “more” than they did during last year’s holiday season and 17 percent say they’ll spend “less,” which is virtually unchanged from 2015 results. Consumers are less concerned about the economy spoiling their holiday fun. When asked how the state of the economy will influence their holiday purchases in 2016, those 12 percent saying it will have a “significant impact” is down from recent years (19 percent in 2014).

“All signs point to a holiday retail season that will outperform last year’s,” says Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group, Inc. “The unvarying holiday spending intentions expressed by consumers are a sign that even this year’s intense election cycle has done little to dampen consumer confidence going into the holiday season, which we forecast to grow moderately.”

According to Technomic research, more consumers are visiting bakery and coffee cafes at least once a month compared to two years ago, according to Technomic’s recently released 2016 Bakery and Coffee Cafe Consumer Trend Report. For bakery cafes, the increase relates to rising patronage in the morning and at dinner, while coffee cafes are benefiting from their technology investments and menu innovation.

Kelly Weikel, director of consumer insights at Technomic, says that technology is becoming especially crucial in this space, “both for improving service speed with digital ordering channels and for providing personalized value through loyalty programs. Meanwhile, menu innovations such as adult beverage programs or indulgent dessert drinks can help cafes drive incremental sales by furthering their appeal in the evening.”