Authenticity has become a buzzword these days. In both business and social conversations in America, the demand for “authenticity” persists. Bakeries can capitalize on this want of authenticity, not only by the products they offer, but in the way they market and promote them.
At their core, retail bakeries are specialty shops. From gourmet desserts to decorated cakes to artisan breads and rolls, bakeries produce specialty products. It’s from this specialness that a bakery’s goods possess their authenticity. Authentic products made by hand, from recipes passed down and according to research firm Mintel, “consumers are craving products that come with a stamp of authenticity.
A Mintel 2014 baking industry consumer trends report states that 58 percent of American consumers say the food items from specialty counters like bakeries and delis are fresher. In addition, 38 percent believe specialty counter products offer a better overall value. And while automation and mass production have and will continue to make like easier, consumers will continue to value artisan goods.
Authentic, Specialty Products
The search for authenticity includes traditional production methods and natural ingredients, both of which are easily incorporated into the production of artisan breads and rolls. Consumers want to know what’s in their products, how those ingredients got there and who made the products. There’s also a keen interest in the maker’s credentials and the batch size, according to Mintel.
Artisan breads and rolls from the bakery allow the retailer to produce, market and promote products that follow and adhere to all of the afore mentioned parameters that the American consumer is interested in, and oftentimes uses as the base for their purchasing decision.
Artisan breads and rolls open a number of different channels for the retail bakery to explore. As stand-alone items, artisan breads and rolls offer a perfect solution for established bakeries to advertise and promote authentic, specialty items. Because of this status, these products should be priced higher than the typical bakery fare. Customers looking for authenticity will pay the extra money for such items.
For bakery cafes, using the artisan for breads for sandwiches offers the perfect opportunity for a higher end, and consequently higher priced, sandwiches. Specials using in-house, handcrafted breads are a certain favorite for the gourmet diner. Rolls will pair great with soup and salad offerings. If your bakery does not offer café style meals, artisan breads and roles provide an opportunity to get into that business on a small, more manageable scale, or even a trial basis.
Time, labor and production, along with a greater perceived value, means artisan breads and rolls will naturally sell at higher price points. With many customers willing to pay the higher prices, it’s still advantageous and cost-effective for retail shops to have multiple plans in place to make sure profit margins are as high as they can be.
The easiest way to ensure that specialty goods sell out in time to avoid shrink, is to produce your artisan products in small batches. Small batches also enhance the specialty, artisan and handcrafted feel of the product. Another easy method to make sure your specialty breads continue to move is to offer half loaves. While these will be less expensive than a full loaf, a retailer can add a charge to split the full loaf, thus making up for the smaller portion and lower price.
Bakeries that possess the willingness and production capabilities might also consider seeking out wholesale accounts for their specialty breads and rolls. Restaurants make the best prospective customers for artisan rolls and buns. Communication is key to managing accounts and freshness makes a big difference in getting the account. Many retail bakeries adjust production times to ensure wholesale customers get their breads as soon as possible after leaving the oven.
With fall setting in and winter approaching, hearty artisan breads and rolls will complement the traditional comfort foods of the season. Bakery cafes offering soups will want to make sure to have good, artisan bread and roll products to go along with their soup salad and soup sandwich combos.