A new age of digital software solutions is ushering bakers into a streamlined era of expanded success – both in terms of how you manage your business internally and how you market and sell to consumers.

On the e-commerce front, it is important to point out that baked foods have become a staple of the surging online business for groceries. The different needs associated with selling bread and other baked foods through e-commerce adds further opportunities for product development, acknowledges Robb MacKie, president and chief executive officer of the American Bakers Association.

Sharing “Bakery Trends” with US flour milling executives, MacKie spoke Oct. 8 at the annual meeting of the North American Millers’ Association. The NAMA meeting was being held Oct. 7-10 at the Boca Beach hotel in Boca Raton.

Overall, MacKie points to an important emerging trend has been consumer’s willingness to pay more for value-added bread and other baked foods.

“I think we will see more of that,” he says. “Many of the new products that will be rolled out, bakers will try to keep more of that margin with those items. That’s where some of the ingredient innovation will come into play.”

Business intelligence

In the bakery software business, Cybake bakery software has added new business intelligence reporting screens to its purchasing module which give its users the edge when dealing with their suppliers.

The new BI screens feature pie charts, bar charts and graphs which give Cybake users a clear, at-a-glance, picture of their purchasing activities and KPIs. This gives a baker the advantage when negotiating with suppliers, as the information the baker needs to make a good deal is right in front of them, at their fingertips, at all times.

Cybake now displays an overview of a bakery business’s net purchasing spend by both supplier and ingredient. It also breaks down ingredient purchases and cost trends, with a view of the latest prices, the last time an ingredient was purchased, from which supplier, at what price, and in which format.

Plus, Cybake now features a service-level report which tells bakeries whether suppliers are fulfilling their orders, as well as purchase order analysis, within which the status and progress of all purchase orders can be queried.

Matt Armitage, the head of bakery consultancy Parallel Purchasing, an Independent Cybake Partner that specializes in this often-overlooked area of the baking business, says that using Cybake’s purchasing module provides a number of benefits.

“Cybake ensures that you are paying the correct price agreed with your supplier and that you are claiming credits for short delivered or damaged stock – confirmed at goods inwards. In fact, the industry average is that 5% of supplier invoices require some form of credit. With Cybake, any discrepancies are flagged up, so that you are getting the credits due to you every time,” he says.

Armitage points to a number of other key advantages.

“Cloud-based access means there is always a clear picture of what has been spent, and what is on order, and that this can be seen by users in the warehouse, the bakery, the office and home office.”

“Also, Cybake maintains an ingredient-cost price history which allows you to work out the effect of cost price changes on margins over time. And it interfaces with accounts software like QuickBooks, Xero, or Sage to avoid the need to double enter purchase invoices, cutting unnecessary labor costs.”

Commenting on Cybake’s new BI report screens for purchasing, Jane Tyler, managing director of Cybake, says: “We first announced the addition of business intelligence reporting screens to Cybake back in August 2020. These showed our users how their bakery was performing in terms of sales, profit, and retail stock, and proved very popular. Retail bakery replenishment, sales and waste BI functions followed.

“A bakery’s purchasing can now be tracked, analyzed and represented in the same way, giving the upper hand to bakers every time when they are negotiating prices with their suppliers.”

Catering solutions

FoodStorm, which provides the only catering software developed for grocers, announced that five additional grocers have signed on to use its SaaS offering to manage their catering and prepared food offerings and create an instant eCommerce presence for these offerings. New FoodStorm costumes include Straub's Fine Grocers in Missouri, Midtowne Market in Missouri, Sunset Foods in Illinois, Joseph's Classic Market in Florida, and Town & Country Markets in California.

In late July, FoodStorm announced that another eight grocers had recently become FoodStorm customers, demonstrating the momentum the company has in the U.S.

“Across the board, the grocers we’ve talked with are anticipating a very busy holiday season, with higher catering and prepared food volumes than ever before,” said Rob Hill, CEO of FoodStorm. “So they are taking proactive steps to ensure they have the right infrastructure in place to handle that volume. We have been deluged with inbound requests from grocers across the U.S., and are very excited to be kicking off engagements with these new customers in August and September.”

Prepared foods are typically the most profitable items in a grocery store, so grocers are eager to expand that area of their business. They are also clamoring to satisfy customer demand for better online ordering options. According to eMarketer, in 2020 grocery eCommerce sales increased by 54 percent. In 2021, they are expected to grow another 17.8 percent and comprise 12.4 percent of all grocery sales. After implementing FoodStorm, grocers have reported that more than half of their orders are placed online, and more than half of those are placed from mobile devices. Grocers who see less volume than that need to boost their online presence. 

FoodStorm can help. Its comprehensive SaaS offering covers multi-channel ordering (eCommerce, phone or in-store kiosk), order management, payment and fulfillment, and integrates easily with a large variety of third-party systems including POS. The software provides a catering specific eCommerce website to match the grocer’s brand, order and production management, PCI-compliant payment processing, CRM tools to market and grow their business, and rich reporting features with a live business dashboard.

“Manually orchestrating catering and prepared food orders was a big burden for our team. FoodStorm will enable us to accommodate a much higher volume of orders with the same number of staff,” said Trip Straub, resident and chief executive officer at Straub’s Fine Grocers. “We’re also excited to boost our eCommerce presence, as we know it will help us better compete with other grocers, pure online options, and even local restaurants.” 

FoodStorm is in use at thousands of sites around the world, processing over $1.5B in catering and prepared food orders for grocers, caterers and corporate dining operations. The U.S. is the company’s fastest-growing region.

On-demand marketing

AdAdapted, a leading shopping list marketing and insights platform built for CPG brands, agencies, and retailers today announced the launch of AdAdapted Direct, an on-demand, self-managed advertising solution built to make consumer marketing easy and accessible to any size business.

Today’s marketers need control over their brand, audience and budget as they launch new products, enter new markets and drive for growth. While there are many tools available to increase awareness, they often lack connection to actual purchase results.

Additionally, marketers have scarce options for easy-to-use, self-serve advertising solutions. AdAdapted Direct solves these challenges by providing a solution to develop impactful creative, select ad types, choose targeting and track performance — all of which is set up and launched in minutes. Marketers can track their campaign performance daily via the intuitive dashboard.

AdAdapted Direct is the only on-demand tool that helps businesses target verified shoppers and get their branded products on shopping lists during pre-planning and referenced at the shelf in-store. Targeting consumers at this stage of the shopping journey is especially important, since more than half of all shoppers 1 use a shopping list to plan their visit, shop and create an online cart for in-store pick-up.

AdAdapted Direct enables brands and retailers to reach verified shoppers to drive purchase intent and build awareness. It does this by serving targeted mobile ads to AdAdapted's exclusive network of millions of shopping list app users, while they are actively building their grocery lists.

The ads include a frictionless button that adds branded products to their list via AdAdapted’s patented Add-It (TM) technology. The solution is designed to get branded products onto shopping lists, referenced in store, and into consumers’ shopping carts without interrupting the user experience.

With AdAdapted Direct, brand marketers can now also:

  • Control their marketing strategy. AdAdapted Direct puts a valuable shopper audience and high impact marketing capabilities in the hands of marketers, allowing them to control their spend and curate audience targets.
  • Compete with established brands. AdAdapted Direct enables marketers to reach their ideal shopper and get their product on digital shopping lists or into carts before they have a chance to choose a competitive brand. 1 https://blog.fieldagent.net/the-science-of-shopping-lists-10-insights-from-a-survey-of-2500
  • Access exclusive audiences and inventory. In addition to the exclusive network of over 100M shopping list app users, marketers gain exclusive access to first-party pre-shop targeting from shopping list apps, so they can get the biggest return on their advertising investment.
  • Get megabrand access at an emerging brand price.

AdAdapted Direct provides the ability to develop highly targeted, high-value and impactful advertising at low campaign minimum spends.

AdAdapted Direct’s user-friendly interface gives CPG brands, retailers and their agencies the ability to instantly benefit from:

  • Easy sign-up and campaign activation.
  • Choice of ad creative templates provided in the dashboard, with an option to use their own branding and product assets.
  • Ability to run always-on ads, and boost performance on the fly.
  • Capability to target grocery shoppers in the right place, at the right time, to drive actual purchase behavior and gain a competitive edge over category competitors.

 “Brands and retailers looking for highly effective advertising tools and a differentiated audience are often stumped to find tools that fit their company needs,” said Joshua Sukenic, vice president and general manager, AdAdapted Direct. “AdAdapted Direct empowers brands to run campaigns that fit their budget while providing control, flexibility, and agility. We get brands in front of consumers closer to the point of purchase. AdAdapted Direct provides a new-to-market opportunity to activate consumer marketing to drive brand awareness and get branded products directly onto shopping lists and into shopping carts with one simple solution.”