According to history cheesecake dates back 4000 years to ancient Greece. It differed considerably from what American consumers know today. The cheesecake that the world loves today originated in in Europe during the 18th century. By the 1900s New York style cheesecake had taken the form we know today with all its variations and different recipes.
Simple and traditional preparation, a reminder of home family and friends all give cheesecake its status as a comfort food. While many different methods and recipes for making cheesecake exist today, it remains a go-to comfort food for the American consumer.
The retail bakery needs to position itself with even more comfort food options as the holiday season approaches and business picks up considerably. Large numbers of family and friends gather together during the holiday season to eat. Many American families prefer to cook at least some of the holiday meal at home, but in today’s busy society more and more of the dishes are picked up from a retailer and brought to the dinner. This is especially true of desserts.
Cheesecake represents a product that many retail bakeries don’t carry. Bakeries that carry cheesecake on the menu gain a competitive advantage by offering a product that every bakery in town doesn’t.
Retail shops that don’t offer cheesecake should start, and the holiday season is the perfect time to roll it out as a new product.
When adding a new product to the menu, best practice dictates that an owner or manager start off with offering the item as a limited time special to get a feel for how customers will react to it. If it doesn’t take off right away, fear not. Sometimes customers need a little time to get used to the new product. Also, it might be something they don’t have occasion for right at the beginning of the new offering.
This method also gives the bakery a chance to get a good sample of cost versus profit margin. Once the cheesecakes start to do well, bakery owners can then offer the holiday flavors, again as limited time offers. This will create a mood of urgency among shoppers who will want to purchase them while they have the chance.
American consumers continue to look for healthier option. When it comes to desserts, portion sizes and ingredient content still tops the priority list of many consumers. While customers want to eat healthier, research shows that they also still want to indulge in desserts.
Providing customers with smaller portions gives them a few different options. Retail shop owners also have options on how to make the smaller portions attractive to the health conscious consumer.
Cheesecake bites, or squares, or individual pieces all provide ways for the retailer to market to the consumer that is looking for a smaller portion. Staff can precut a few of the more popular flavors to display in the case for individual sale.
Another alternative to offer a more controlled portion is with bites or smaller squares. Prepare cheesecakes in a square pan rather than the traditional round and precut for individual sale, or up charge complete cheesecakes that are precut for the customer before they leave.
Ingredients provide another way to cater to the healthier customer. Many low fat cheesecake recipes offer great flavor without the fat that is so often associated with cheesecakes. Make sure customers know of the healthy options your store provides through signage and dialogue with staff. BOB SIMS