Versatile Muffins

rosemary muffins
Unique muffin inclusions will catch the attention of customers.

In terms of sales relative to daypart, muffins give the retail bakery a product that sells throughout the day. Muffins make a quick breakfast for those who live the hectic, on-the-go lifestyle, which is most Americans, who work longer hours now than they have since statistics have been kept. For lunch and dinner, muffins offer consumers a perceived-healthy snack, whether it really has health benefits depends. And muffins make a great snack, sweet and savory alike.

To take your muffins to the next level, add appeal to look, flavor and health on all fronts by adding inclusions. From the traditional to the exotic, inclusions in muffins will draw shoppers and help the product do better by making them more attractive to the eye and the taste buds.

Sweet

Muffins with sweet inclusions will attract at least two different demographics of shoppers. Those looking for an indulgence and breakfast shoppers who are less concerned about the health attributes and just want a quick and tasty meal on the run.

The popularity of standard sweet muffin inclusions such as chocolate chips will remain strong forever, they are a staple, but taking a risk on something out of the ordinary could prove effective and jump start sales.

For the ultimate indulgence, consider including pieces of other indulgent desserts in your muffins. Cubes of chewy, baked brownies and pieces of New York style cheesecake will make the sweet-toothed shopper’s mouth water. Upsell these types of muffins accordingly as customers looking for these indulgences have no problem paying a premium price when they find them. These are also available through ingredient suppliers.

Another indulgent treat to include in muffins is cookie pieces. Using flavors you already make at the bakery provides the perfect cross promotion for both products. Take the idea a step further and include cookie dough in your muffins. Processes might need to be perfected, but if the final product works and sells, the time and effort will be well worth it.

If you want to go extremely gourmet/specialty/exotic, incorporate specialty and brand name candy pieces. For the top tier muffins of your price range think of things like a coffee flavored muffin with chocolate covered espresso beans or chocolate muffin with chunks of house made chocolate fudge for an inclusion.

Savory

Savory muffin inclusions will appeal to breakfast and mid-day snack shoppers alike. Muffins that include cheeses, sausage bits and bacon bits have a great appeal to breakfast muffin shoppers. For a higher price point, include combinations of two or all three inclusions as premium products.

Suppliers offer savory inclusions for muffins, but for an even higher-premium price point, consider producing savory inclusions in-house. The use of artisan cheeses as muffin inclusions will also draw a shopper willing to pay higher prices for the quality of such products.

Serving muffins with savory inclusions is a great way to add products that sell to your menu lineup from the early morning throughout the course of the day and into the early evening.

Healthy

With the health and wellness movement in America continuing to gain strong momentum year after year, adding one or more healthy muffins to your menu only makes sense. Many Americans already have a perception of muffins being one of the healthier items in the bakery. Including a few healthy inclusions into an oatmeal or bran muffin will give the health-conscious shopper reason to come by the bakery on a regular basis.

The common inclusion for a healthier muffin is fruit. A blueberry muffin remains as the go-to, staple and pillar of any retailer that offers muffins, but other fruits can work as well. Exotic and tropical fruits will work as muffin inclusions. A blood-orange muffin is sure to attract the attention of fruit muffin shoppers. Healthy muffins can also have inclusions that are not fruits.

Consider grains, seeds, herbs, nuts and vegetables as inclusions to use in making a more health focused muffin. Whether stand alone, combination or an “everything muffin,” these inclusions give instant health and wellness credibility to a muffin lineup.

Try out a few different recipes and formulas to gauge whether or not your customers are receptive to the different muffins and go with those that you get the best feedback on.

Healthy muffin inclusions

  • Nuts – walnuts, almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, pistachios
  • Grains – barley, buckwheat, corn, oats, quinoa, whole wheat
  • Seeds – sunflower, poppy, chia, pumpkin
  • Herbs – rosemary, basil, cilantro, chive,
  • Vegetables – zucchini, spinach, carrot, broccoli, butternut squash, onion