Fully 94% of retail bakers have raised prices on cakes, while 90% increased prices on sandwiches, pastries, pies and sweet goods with price increases ranging from 5.9% to 10.2%, according to Cypress Research in a study commissioned by Sosland Publishing. Jory Downer, owner of Bennison's Bakery in Chicago, says they have raised retail prices multiple times to keep pace.

“We started an online store 18 months ago,” Downer said. “It’s really incredible to me how people how people shop online. We get online orders around the clock. People are shopping at 2:30 a.m. for a birthday cake for the next weekend. It’s remarkable to me how that works.

“It’s sure made life easier here, especially decorated cakes, because they can’t order things we don’t have,” Bennison’s Bakery owner continues. “You set up an online store, and this is what’s available. It’s just a great, great thing.”

The large majority of professionals plan to implement price increases on most products in 2023, including cakes, sandwiches, and sweet goods. Also, 64% of retail bakers expect increasing ingredient costs to remain a “significant challenge” in 2023.

As a result, bakeries have identified new ingredient/supply chain partners and increased wages and more flexible work hours. The notion of mobile availability is increasingly viable and has the potential to disrupt retail bakers that are stationary and require customers to come to them.

The new business model is, “How do I get in front of people where they are instead of attracting them to me?” This is the strength of mobile where food trucks, delivery services and even meal kit services all benefit.

Digital platforms

Online ordering works for the industry, as well. Bakeries are benefiting immensely for the ease and reliability of new online purchasing systems that allow them to order the bakery ingredients and supplies they need every day.

Elizabeth Hassett, director of digital product experience, Dawn Food Products, explains that Dawn’s online ordering platform has undergone several updates to create an easier and more seamless customer experience.

“We have enhanced search functionality to provide more relevant results and included similar and alternate items on product detail pages for easier shopping,” Hassett said. “Our team has also created a new customer dashboard to quickly review recently ordered products and reorder, and developed an in-cart reminder of products customers may have forgotten. We continually put our customers at the center of everything we do. These enhancements provide a better experience for them to streamline their ordering and allow them to focus on what they do best – run their business.”

Hassett reports that Dawn has seen positive sentiment since rolling out its digital enhancements, with the majority of customers (80 percent) saying they will continue using the Dawn site. Customers particularly love the flexibility and ease of ordering our online platform provides, she said.

“Most of our online customers have a goal when ordering – to get their orders in quickly so they can get back to running their business. To best support them, we make sure any new features are intentional, relevant, and easily accessible. So far, we’ve seen positive reactions from customers who appreciate the added functionality.”

Dawn regularly updates customers of new digital features through email, social media, and notifications on the platform once customers log onto the site, Hassett explained.

“While we regularly evaluate new enhancements to the Dawn shopping site, our focus is on providing our customers with the best user experience. This approach allows us to focus on the enhancements that will offer the greatest value for our customers,” Hassett said.

24/7 ordering and more

MyPuratos is a simple online ordering platform that offers bakery customers the flexibility and convenience needed to get the ingredients you want and when you want them. 

Features include the following:

  • Add your regular products or previous orders to your cart.
  • Browse all Puratos solutions.
  • Card payment options for orders.
  • Online invoice payment.

In related development, 26% of consumers in the United States say they would like grocery stores to be more automated, and 30% believe AI (artificial intelligence) will help people make better food choices in the future, according to Puratos research.

“Consumers expect food to go beyond nutrition. Mental and physical connections are increasingly important,” said Sophie Blum, chief marketing and channel officer for Puratos

Puratos conducts ongoing consumer research globally to shed light on influential food and bakery trends. The latest research involved human cultural intelligence, trend frameworks, and artificial intelligence.

Trends can have various shapes, she explained, and sourdough started as a trend in 2014. “Today, the sourdough wave is growing very steep,” Blum said.

As for 2022 trends, “Continued Classics” is a key trend for bakery to feed innovation. According to Puratos research, 60% of consumers want to try something new and yet 67% would like to have some familiar ingredients.

“Taste and freshness remain the undisputable driver of choice,” she said.