Friend, Not Foe

Supermarkets don’t have to be the enemy. They don’t have to be a frenemy, either. When a bakery becomes a supplier to a supermarket, the relationship can genuinely pay off big—for both sides.

“Supermarket partnerships with well-respected, locally owned artisan bakeries can help elevate the quality of the grocers’ bakery offerings and boost their connections with the community,” writes Mark Hamstra, content director at Supermarket News.

Meanwhile, bakery owners benefit from a new revenue stream, as well as a boost in brand exposure. Create a partnership that’s a win-win situation with these tips:

Attend Trade Shows and Industry Events

Get out there and network with potential partners. Participating in supermarket trade shows can expand awareness of your bakery and allow in-store managers to experience your offerings. One way to stand out at a show—and to make sure attendees remember your business when the event is over—is to package extra samples for them to take home.  

Highlight How Your Products Benefit the Store

A retailer’s rep will stand up and take notice when you explain specifically how your baked goods can benefit the store. Buyers are numbers-driven, so show them how your products will have an impact on the supermarket’s bottom line. Come prepared with stats around the popularity of the ingredients and flavors featured in your bakery’s core offerings. If any of your items are particularly trendy during a certain season or holiday, make sure to mention that, too. 

Simplify the Process

In addition to profit, in-store managers care about convenience. Along with great products, offering a simple process can help secure your bakery’s partnership with a supermarket, says Dan Leader, owner of Bread Alone in Lake Katrine, New York, which works with retailers in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. “It’s important for bakers to have their packaging together and create the display for their product to minimize the work for the grocer,” he says.