The protein punch

Consumers often overlook bakeries when it comes to savory options.

Many consumers visit bakeries when they’re in search of something sweet, and bakeries are often looked over when it comes to savory seeks. To change that pattern, work to incorporate more proteins into your menu items. From bacon to chicken to turkey and more, there are numerous protein options waiting to make an appearance in your bakery.

Breakfast Sandwiches and Wraps

Both chicken and turkey are rising in popularity on breakfast plates across the country. According to a new Technomic consumer trend report, 24 percent of consumers said they’re eating turkey at breakfast more often than they were two years ago, and 11 percent said the same about chicken.

The most likely reason for this increased interest is health. According to the same report, more than 60 percent of consumers believe that chicken and turkey are healthier than beef and pork.

Among the chicken- and turkey-based breakfast offerings on menus around the country are:

  • Corner Bakery Café’s Power Panini Thin with Chicken Apple Sausage
  • Au Bon Pain’s 2 Egg & Cheddar Sandwich with Roasted Turkey
  • Einstein Bros Bagels’ Santa Fe Egg Wrap with Turkey Sausage
  • Café Express’ Chipotle Scramble with Grilled Chicken
  • Energy Kitchen’s Energy Breakfast Sandwich with Turkey Bacon
  • Odoba’s Breakfast Burrito with Chicken

By smartly adding chicken and turkey choices to your breakfast menu, you give your bakery an opportunity to get new customers in the door at breakfast.

Meat Pies

Aptly named, meat pies provide another great avenue to get protein into your bakery. At Australian Bakery Café in Marietta, GA, they pride themselves on the quality of the meat in their pies. Ground and diced in the bakery daily, they don’t add any by-product or fillers. The result? A loyal customer base that raves about the bakery’s meat pies, which include these varieties among others:

  • Aussie Steak and Cheese
  • BBQ Chicken Pie
  • Buffalo Chicken Pie
  • Burgundy Beef Pie
  • Curry Lamb Pie
  • English Pork Pie
  • Outback Pepperjack Chicken Pie

Kolaches

Czech immigrants first brought Kolaches to the United States in the 1800s. While sometimes sweet—filled with jams, chocolates, and more—these pastries can also be made savory with meat-based fillings. Among the savory kolache varieties being offered around the country are:

U.S. Brooklyn Kolache Co.’s Smoked Beef Sausage with Jalapenos Kolache
Kolache Republic’s Cuban Pork and Chicken Gyro Kolaches
Kolache Factory’s Bacon and Cheese, Sausage and Gravy, Pepperoni and Mushroom, and Philly Cheese Steak Kolaches

Stuffed Croissant Pockets

Like kolaches, flaky croissants can also be stuffed with meat, and they can have breakfast, lunch, and dinner applications. At Das Meyer Fine Pastry Chalet in Arvada, CO, stuffed croissant pockets are available in numerous flavors. Those that include protein are:

  • Ham, Mushroom, and Swiss Cheese Croissant
  • Chicken in Buffalo Wing Sauce with Ranch and Cheddar Cheese Croissant
  • Polish Sausage with Green Chile Stripes and Mozzarella Croissant
  • For morning meals, it would be easy to swap in bacon or breakfast sausage with eggs, cheese, and other creative ingredients.

The number of different types of proteins makes it easy to find ways to incorporate this food group into your bakery’s menu. In what types of menu items you incorporate proteins and whether you choose to offer proteins at breakfast, lunch, or dinner is totally up to you. But one this is certain, this is a food group that you shouldn’t ignore.