5 Tips for Innovating Your Bakery Business

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The bakeshop operating model is in constant flux. New demands from savvy and informed consumers are contributing to this reality. So is the need for bakery owners/managers to keep a lid on costs, while delivering reasonable profits in a very competitive industry.

Contemporary bakeries must be creative when it comes to offering new products. Moreover, they must be creative as concerns in-store displays and employee training. Furthermore, bakeries must embrace ‘clean-label foods’ as consumers demand healthier product offerings.

Here are 5 tips for innovating your bakery business for the long run:

1. Jazzy Desserts

The key here is keeping customers interested with a varying dessert line-up, while having core dessert offerings always ‘on menu.’ An example is rotating the dessert menu weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly – with those core products always available.

Blackberries are available from May to October in California and shipped out nationwide and also into Canada. Elegant and tasteful blackberry infused and topped baked goods can be a summer offering for a few weeks. In autumn, the focus can shift to pumpkin and butternut squash. The possibilities are many to have a varied dessert menu to keep customers involved with your bakery.

2. Gluten-Free Baked Goods

There’s been much talk about gluten-free products, and with good reason, this market segment is growing. The reason? Many people are looking to sidestep gluten because of gluten intolerance.

Even if they do not have gluten intolerance, some people are eschewing it as a general dietary inclination. The International Food Information Council Foundation’s 2016 Food and Health Survey, Washington, showed that 20% of Americans are trying to avoid gluten.

Creativity can abound when it comes to producing gluten-free baked goods. Consider that Ardent Mills offers an ancient grain mix of amaranth, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, sorghum and teff for use in gluten-free pretzels. The Denver-Colorado based company has an extensive range of flours, blends and specialty products.

In addition, General Mills in June 2016 filed a patent for ready-to-bake gluten-free pizza dough formulations with the USPTO (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office). So, there exist opportunities in the gluten-free space.

3. Clean Label Products

A growing number of today’s knowledgeable consumers want debatable ingredients out of the products they buy. They want ingredient cutbacks akin to simple recipes one might see baked in-home from a few quality ingredients. Think of the few ingredients that went into your grandparent’s favorite apple pie or whole wheat bread recipe.

Furthermore, consumers want many products, including baked goods, processed simply and naturally. This means a straightforward process that doesn’t use certain chemicals, additives, artificial flavorings, and preservatives. If preservatives are used, consumers desire natural preservatives such as rosemary extract, citric acid, alpha tocopherol (vitamin E), and grapefruit seed extract.

4. Employee Training

There’s a global shortage of bakers and bakeries need qualified people with a passion for the craft and the industry. People who have this heartfelt desire can be successfully trained as bakers.

This is the important point for bakeries to consider – individuals with a deep interest in baking are more likely to stay with a company, which solves, somewhat, bakery employee turnover problems.

Mr. Michael Eggebrecht, President & CEO of Artisan Baking Resources has good words for the Bread Bakers Guild of America. This Guild has started the first phase of its Artisan Baker Certification Program: Certified Bread Baker. Employees with a proclivity for baking may find this excellent training to further their careers and bakeries should consider this for interested employees. (Source: Bake Magazine – Issue #10 – October 2016)

5. Appealing bakery displays

The goal with bakery display cases is to have them attractive but properly designed and functional. This can run the gamut from old-country artisanal, rustic displays that exude old world warmth, or modern designs.

However, bakeries must keep the emphasis on the products displayed, not the displays themselves, as customers aren’t buying displays! A good display case is visually appealing, draws the eye to the delectable baked goods, and preserves freshness, taste and quality. Originality when it comes to display cases means decorating a display case appropriately for the various buying seasons, Thanksgiving and such.

Innovation is abounding in the bakery industry. Bakeshops, including chain supermarket, independent, sole proprietor Mom & Pop, and niche artisanal must hop on board the innovation train or get left behind. Sales and profit growth can also abound when a bakery addresses the above 5 points among a host of others to build their businesses.

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