There’s never a better time to expand your bakery’s profile than during the all-important winter holiday season, when some bakeries achieve more than half of their annual sales. And especially now, your strategies need to involve a full-force initiative aimed at connecting to more customers online.

Keely Siciliano, director of brand & digital marketing for Dawn Foods, stresses the importance of creating an eye-catching Instagram profile and optimize your bio. Bakers can optimize their Instagram bios by adding a short and sweet description of their business with a tone that reflects their brand’s personality. Bakers should also update their contact options on their profile, including a business email address, phone number, and location, so it’s easier for users to get in touch with them, she says.

Instagram does not allow users to include multiple links in bios, however, with helpful free tools like LinkTree, a single link can be created for a bio that takes users to a launchpad, which can include links to a bakery’s contact page, about us section, current product sales, ways to make online purchases, and more.

“When it comes to creating an eye-catching Instagram profile, bakers must ask themselves what their theme is – both contextually and visually,” Siciliano explains. “A bakery’s theme in most cases begins and ends with food, so post high-quality pictures of products that share a similar style and tell a story.”

For example, if a baker wanted to post about their latest limited-time-offer (LT0) special, there are many different types of photos that can be utilized, such as a bird’s eye view of the product, close-up to capture texture, or a customer enjoying that treat. Ultimately, any images posted to a bakery’s profile should be reflective of its brand and consistent.

Flavorful favorites

With the pumpkin spice season in full force, your first focus should be to decide exactly what your offerings will be this holiday season.

Start with BakeSense Pumpkin and BakeSense Pumpkin Pie Spice. Pairing these with BakeMark’s line of bakery mixes, your creativity can run wild to fill your bakery case this year.

With all the options available from BakeMark, the pumpkin spice world is right at your fingertips Create cakes, pies, or other ideas outside the box and create something all your own. Don’t shortchange the quality of your products this fall. Remember, BakeMark offers quality and versatility all in one, so get out there and create your own pumpkin spice paradise.

Other holiday bakery treats include ethnic favorites. At Vegas Bakery, a popular panadería in Las Vegas, where it opened nine years ago, bakery lovers come from all around to purchase the amazing authentic desserts, such as mil hojas cake. This elaborate cake is distinguished by its flaky layers inside, which are created with care by the bakers here, who work diligently to provide amazing cakes that are as beautiful as they taste.

“People love our authentic flavors that our bakers work hard to create,” points out Luis Trejo, owner of Vegas Bakery.

At La Favorita, local patrons come to enjoy the delicious breads and pastries, which are made with care fresh daily. There are many treats to discover, such as carlota de cajeta, a beloved Hispanic dessert made with coffee, cajeta and condensed milk.

“We create many pastries and breads that our customers love. More customers are coming back,” says Virginia Cazañas of La Favorita.

Holiday gift tins

Another effective way to promote your brand involves special holiday gift tins, the perfect way to entice new and existing customers to savor your brand.

Featured by Manresa Bread, Avery Ruzicka’s Thanksgiving Cookie Tin ($55) feature five cookies of the following flavors (Tumeric Hazel White Chocolate Cookie; Pumpkin Spice Swirl; Spritz Cookie; Rye Cherry Seven Treasure; Teff Chocolate Cookie). In December she’ll change out the cookie flavors for the holidays.

Thanksgiving holiday specials go live on Manresa Bread’s website, with a robust menu pick up items (pies, butter buns, etc.), as well as items for national shipping, including the Cookie Tins, signature sourdough, Bake with Manresa Bread Kits (Cookie, Brownie, and Waffle Kits) and more. The December holiday specials go live on Dec. 1.

For chocolate lovers, the new Scharffen Berger 3-ounce bar gift box contains these six chocolate bars: Box includes two x 62% Semisweet Dark Chocolate Bars, two x 70% Bittersweet Dark Chocolate Bars, and two x 82% Extra Dark Chocolate Bars

Founded in 1996 by winemaker John Scharffenberger and fine food enthusiast Robert Steinberg, Scharffen Berger led the American bean-to-bar craft chocolate movement. Beans from each region are picked for their unique flavor characteristics—chocolate, fruit, spice, floral tobacco, leather, woody, earthy—and are specially roasted to bring out these notes. Scharffen Berger blends these freshly roasted beans to produce its signature flavors, balanced and complex, highlighting the true, rich flavors of cacao.

Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker crafts a select assortment of fine baking and tasting chocolate bars and chunks as well as cocoa powder.

"We are committed to carrying forward John's legacy, sourcing the finest cacao from the best Rainforest Alliance Certified farms and making the best tasting chocolate on the planet," explains Paul Cherrie, chief executive officer of Scharffen Berger. 

Dairy-free delights

Barry Callebaut has announced the launch of its latest new dairy-free and plant-based solution, Dairy-Free Compounds under its namesake brand. This new chocolate product innovation joins Barry Callebaut’s North American existing Plantcraft range of dairy-free chocolates, nuts, cocoa powders, and cacaofruit experience ingredients. Offering a wide selection of sustainable, dairy-free and plant-based ingredients, Barry Callebaut has product solutions that satisfy the growing demand for plant-based solutions, particularly among millennials and centennials.

“To support the plant-based revolution, we’re thrilled to introduce our latest offering, Dairy-Free Compounds,” said Laura Bergan, director Barry Callebaut Brand. “Recent successful plant-based launches met market demands with a flavor-first mentality, focusing on taste. At Barry Callebaut, we’ve taken the plant-based opportunity to a new level elevating products on indulgences that happen to be plant-based. We’re excited to see the industry expand product lines and introduce new innovative creations to cater to everyone’s lifestyle choice, across different generations.”

The Barry Callebaut Brand’s new Dairy-Free Compound introduces a versatile, new solution set that’s 100% plant-based and 100% dairy-free. Made in fully segregated production facilities that do not handle dairy, the portfolio offers a range of shelf-stable dark compound suitable for the confection, snack and bakery segments, with a dark low melt chunks offerings for the ice cream market.