COVID is Changing Consumption Trends

From bake-at-home kits to smaller servings, COVID is forcing bakers to revamp how they size, sell and package baked goods.

There is arguably not one area of life COVID hasn’t impacted, and bakery is no exception. Bakers have shown agility in the face of quickly changing circumstances, giving customers what they’ve asked for to feel safe, and consumers are showing their support by ordering online, taking advantage of curbside pick up, and adding gift cards to their carts.

The Dawn Insights and Market Research team is keeping up with the trends coming out of COVID so you can stay on top of your business. We’ve pulled together the top insights* you can leverage as you market your business and determine your next best steps for improving sales and customer loyalty.

Celebrations Shrink in Size

According to Dawn, “artisanal bakery sales for large celebrations like weddings or graduation events have gone down by at least 50% or more compared to pre-COVID numbers.” With restrictions on the permitted size of gatherings, this statistic is no surprise. Bakers are adapting by offering smaller celebration cakes, as well as marketing celebration cupcakes and donuts to fit any size party. Just because the traditional reception has to wait, the sweet treats that mark the moments do not.

Takeaways:

  • Suggest and market at-home celebrations that offer single serving baked goods and smaller sized cakes
  • Encourage consumers to mark these important moments in new and creative ways
  • Share customer celebrations on social media with custom hashtags

Sweet and Single

Dawn has also discovered that “more than half of artisanal bakers noted increases in sales of single-serve or pre-packaged items and a downtrend in larger items.” Similar to shrinking celebrations, more people at home translates into more people shopping for one. Bakers have adapted by investing in new packaging that promotes single servings

cake packaging single serve

and also showcases a commitment to health and safety. Even if consumers are purchasing multiple items, selling each one in its own package minimizes contamination and increases consumer confidence in your bakery’s best practices during COVID. 

Takeaways:

  • Invest in single serve packaging and share images on social media
  • Be sure your bakery case is showcasing single serve baked goods front and center
  • Communicate your strategy for packaging safety, including removing reusable cups or other items that can promote contamination
cupcake kit

Kits are Everywhere

Nearly one quarter of bakeries are selling at-home kits, Dawn’s research finds. These colorful creations are perfect for engaging kids in decorating, allowing families to freeze and bake what they want, and enjoying treats at home when the craving hits. From take and bake cinnamon rolls to cookies and donuts that can be decorated by the entire family, kits are flexible for delivery or curb-side pick up and fulfill multiple needs. They encourage creativity, bring families together, and bring

needed moments of distraction to people hunkered down at home. 

Takeaways:

  • Create kits specific to kids that ramp up colorful decorating options
  • Diversify with take and bake kits like cinnamon rolls, muffins, or cookies
  • Consider a “gift a kit” program that delivers kits to customers as a surprise gift from family or friends

Other Trends Worth Noticing

Beyond single servings, smaller celebrations, and kits, there are other trends emerging from COVID that bakers should consider:

  • Consumers are gravitating toward more traditional tastes that take them back to childhood. This doesn’t mean you should ignore the trends; just be sure to have a strategic mix of old and new in your case to satisfy all your consumers.
  • Gift cards are a big hit. Many communities want to support local businesses without putting their health at risk. Create a gift card program. It means a steady stream of revenue for you and gives consumers the opportunity to buy your baked goods now or in the future.
  • With more families at home, people are returning to baking. Help them succeed by creating how-to videos or decorating tutorials that leverage your kits or freeze and bake products. Your content can guide them step-by-step and make them more aware of your expertise.

Want to learn more about how to thrive in the time of COVID? Find additional articles and resources HERE

**Dawn Foods Proprietary Research July 2020 conducted by 360 Market Reach