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 takeaway, and purchasing gift cards.
Artisanal bakery sales for large celebrations like weddings have gone down 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.
• 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
There have been notable 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 and also showcases a commitment to health and safety. Even if consumers are purchasing multiple items, selling each one in its own package minimises contamination and increases consumer confidence in your bakery’s best practices during COVID.
• Invest in single serve packaging and share images on social media
• Be sure your bakery range is showcasing single serve baked goods front and centre
• Communicate your strategy for packaging safety, including removing reusable cups or other items that can promote contamination
Bakeries are taking advantage of this new opportunity and selling at-home kits to their consumers. These colourful 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 takeaway and fulfil multiple needs. They encourage creativity, bring families together, and bring needed moments of distraction to the vulnerable who are isolating at home.
• Create kits specific to kids that ramp up colourful 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
Beyond single servings, smaller celebrations, and kits, there are other trends emerging from COVID that bakers should consider.
Consumers are gravitating towards more traditional and nostalgic tastes that take them back to childhood. This doesn’t mean you should ignore the current trends; just be sure to have a strategic mix of old and new in your range 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.