The International Baking Industry Exposition played host to a multitude of insight from industry experts, on topics ranging from cake techniques to social media and merchandising. Here are just a few tips from Betty Slove, owner of Lovin Oven Bakery, and Gail Kollman, bakery-deli specialist at SuperValu.

  • Remember that consumers eat—and buy with their eyes.
  • A table and product is all you need to merchandise. Signage, decorations, baskets and materials are all extras, so a low budget is not an excuse. 
  • 80 percent of bakery sales are impulse, so you have to entice your customers with strategically placed displays—near the entrance, near the register, etc.
  • Know your top 10 best-selling products and creatively merchandise some of those. In other words, know what you’re selling and try to sell more of it.
  • Take a look at the categories in your bakery that are lower than the national average in sales, or that your competitors sell more of than you do, and create a merchandising event around those.
  • When creating signage, keep in mind that 25% of the space should be used to show the price. The name of the item should be the next largest element, followed by the package count or size, a reason to buy, and a photograph or graphic.
  • Don’t forget about your children customers! Merchandise to kids by placing your colorfully decorated cookies and kid-friendly items at a low eye-level.
  • For holiday- or event-themed displays, use items that you can reuse at other times. Red can be used for Christmas, Valentine's Day or 4th of July.
  • Use merchandising as a way of engaging your staff. Give them a voice in choosing the theme or specific elements.