American Baker’s Association (ABA) and Food Marketing Institute (FMI) have released the inaugural Power of Bakery report that assesses this colossal grocery category. The results of the analysis, unveiled at the ABA Convention in Naples, Florida, share consumer perceptions, attitudes and behaviors regarding the bakery category in a grocery retail setting. The findings help the baking industry partner with retailers to optimize production, marketing, merchandising and branding decisions.
As witnessed in many of the grocery perimeter departments, significant numbers of shoppers have a dual-store strategy, in which they purchase center-store groceries in one store and bakery items in another. Channel switching is highest for special occasion items, such as birthday cakes/cupcakes, and lowest for functional items. Stand-alone bakery specialty stores take a majority share of the switchers across all three categories.

Thirty-seven percent of shoppers typically purchase indulgent bakery items at a place other than their primary store. Being a top-of-mind bakery destination is important to capture the category’s many trips among primary and secondary shoppers.
“Indulgence is a clear sales driver in fresh bakery, claiming 76 percent of the total department sales, and the analysis highlights the importance of segmenting audiences to better align innovation, merchandising and marketing,” said Rick Stein, FMI vice president, fresh foods. “For instance, given that Millennials are nearly twice as likely to exclusively shop the in-store bakery as Boomers, at 30 percent versus 17 percent, carrying and highlighting desirable product attributes and claims may help drive sales and loyalty depending upon your store’s demographic.”