The temporary “pivots” developed during the pandemic — expanded delivery services, outdoor dining options, and investments in technology — are the foundation of the bakery and foodservice industry’s “new normal.”

According to the National Restaurant Association, at least 4 in 10 operators in each of the three limited-service segments — quickservice, fast casual, and coffee and snack — believe the addition of drive-thru lanes will become more common in 2023.

Packaging plays a central role in this trend, as evidenced by ongoing projects at Southern California’s diverse group of panaderías.

At Acacia Bakery in San Pedro, California, owner Alfredo Bran explains that they implement a successful strategy before they open the doors every morning at 5 a.m. That’s when the crowds of construction workers and other locals heading to work come in for their morning breads and pastries.

Many of the breads are packaged for easy and convenient carry. There’s a center tray filled with packaged conchas, tortillas and assorted fresh breads.

“We try to dispatch people in less than a minute or two,” Bran says, discussing the bakery’s strategy for keeping customers pleased with their service. “Our bread is always freshly baked. That’s our secret. Our fresh bolillos are always less than two hours out of the oven.”

Innovation on the rise

Advanced technology and innovative equipment are changing the face of the retail bakery industry. According to the 2022 State of the Retail Baking Industry Report conducted by Cypress Research for Sosland Publishing, 18% of retail bakeries are addressing the industry skills shortage by increasing automation.

For many, the push for improved technology is leading to a greater reliance on online ordering and website marketing.

Many retailers including fresh bakeries are using technology and packaging innovations to improve their customer service.

A National Restaurant Association report reveals that in 202, many operators want to keep moving toward the edge, with more than 4 in 10 planning investments in equipment or technology to increase front- and back-of-the-house productivity. These investments are anticipated mostly in the order and payment space, rather than automated systems or robots that prepare and serve food.

Off-premises-only locations are expected to grow in popularity; more than 4 in 10 limited-service operators think they will be more common this year. 69% of adults say they like the option to dine outside.

Hidden opportunities

Spring and summer are full of hidden opportunities for sales and profits that you can’t always see on the calendar.  You need to be ready and creative with high quality, refreshing baked goods throughout the season, according to BakeMark. This season is the time for social events and gatherings – as well as countless graduations. Every day has the potential to be a big day! 

With Trigal Dorado tropical fillings, you’re never very far away from the daydream of cool tropical breezes.  Think of delicious mango filling, pineapple filling, and guava filling.

Create filled pastries and bars, as well as scrumptious Danishes and tarts.  Even pies and cakes cn be created with fruits of the tropics. For bakery professionals, spring and summer are the perfect times to roll out these taste treats for your customers.