This is the next in our series of Supply Side Innovators featured in our Bake Twentyfive issue. Each weekday, we will spotlight a new Supply Side Innovator that can help you create the flavors, textures, and designs your customers will love.

Retail bakery/foodservice will continue to focus on sweet baked goods to drive impulse purchases and sales in a competitive marketplace, says Global Consumer Insights associate Jordan Beazley of General Mills Convenience & Foodservice. The visual appeal of baked goods will continue to become more important as operators work to not only catch the eye of the consumer but also serve up baked goods that are Instagrammable. Offerings fit for sharing on social media help operators promote their business and keep customers coming back.

“Consumers continue to seek out things that are not only visually appealing, but permissible in certain ways that allow for everyday treats,” Beazley says. “Permissible indulgence can be through small and mini size offerings, as well as authentic or high quality ingredients.”

Another trend that is expected to continue challenge retail bakery/foodservice is finding consistent, high-quality labor, he says. This will force many operators to make trade-offs on what signature items they are going to bake from scratch and what they are going to turn to for labor-saving alternatives.

“We help bakeries stay on top of trends and offer support on how to execute new exciting offerings through versatile products and a steady stream of relevant content,” Beazley says. “We are known for brands, like Pillsbury, that make it easier for bakeries to make more of what their own customers are craving. We offer high quality products and recipes grounded in decades of baking experience to help cut out steps and make baking easier.”

At General Mills, the company innovates on product solutions that accommodate operator needs across the labor-savings spectrum and help them find the right mix of formats across baked goods categories. This includes designs of products that incorporate more of a visual component and providing support to operations on how they can optimize the Instagrammability of their offerings, as well as delivering on different sizes and permissible versions of classic favorites and high-quality ingredients.

“For instance, we recently introduced Pillsbury Mini Cinnamon Rolls to give foodservice operations a versatile, low-labor way to serve on-trend, bite-size cinnamon rolls,” Beazley says. “The small size meets consumer demand for mini-indulgence and convenient, on-the-go eating, and the freezer-to-oven format allows operations to bake the cinnamon rolls fresh onsite, creating an enticing aroma yet no proofing or thawing is required.” This is the latest example of how General Mills is focused on bringing forward product innovation that both addresses labor concerns and gives bakeries and foodservice operations a leg up on trends before they make their way into the market.

Fast facts

General Mills Foodservice takes pride in working alongside customers to understand their specific needs and help to identify the right products and solutions that will help them succeed. This includes a robust R&D team, General Mills culinary experts with extensive baking expertise, and other experts from sales and marketing to consumer insights who all work together to support innovation.

When it comes to baked goods, its Pillsbury brand represents 150 years of baking expertise and innovation. Pillsbury has continued to evolve over the years with new products and innovation to help foodservice operations stay ahead of the curve and conveniently and consistently serve more of the baked goods their patrons want.