The ongoing COVID-19 has significantly stressed almost every industry, and the industry players are facing challenges irrespective of their size. However, despite the catastrophe, people need to eat, which means food and beverage is a sector that can survive the current situation much more comfortably. Consumers across the globe have a strange love affair with baked goods, and the current pandemic seems to have accentuated the relationship. According to the American Bakery Association, the bakery is one of the subcategories of the US food industry that is witnessing an uptick in sales during the pandemic. However, there seems to be a growing preference for healthier food since the outbreak of COVID-19.
What Are Health-Focused Foods In Bakery?
Health-focused food refers to food items that have nutrient-rich ingredients incorporated into them such that the taste doesn’t alter a lot but makes it healthy and satisfying. Such recipes can be a great way to enrich your customers with the nutritional content and the deliciousness of baked foods. Some examples of healthy baked foods include Vegan Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake, Buckwheat Double Chocolate Cookies, Cinnamon Apple Cake Bars, etc.
Ways To Boost Bakery Sales Using Health-Focused Foods
This article will briefly discuss ways to use health-focused foods to boost bakery sales in the US in 2022.
1. Provide Nutritional Information Of Your Products
You must consider providing information regarding the nutrition content of your bread, pastries, and sweets since the consumers are becoming more health-conscious. As many US adults intend to manage their weight, they check the nutrition labels with the top four items that they focus on: calories, sugar, sodium, and serving size. Further, many consumers like to see nutrition labelling at places where they eat away from home.
Since the inclusion of nutritional information in the menu is still an option, it is difficult to find a large volume of evidence to validate its impact on sales. However, data from a small sector of the industry that has started to mention nutritional information for all their baked products indicate that it positively impacts both revenue and profitability. So, if you are still wondering about what to do, you should at least consider providing the nutritional information on the customer’s request rather than displaying it on your menu in full view.
2. Offer Healthier Options In The Menu
Consumers were already shifting towards healthier food options, and the current pandemic has just made it more prominent. Basically, the consumers wish to enjoy healthy baked foods without missing out on the taste and variety. Many bakers have gradually started to add more and more nutritious options to their menu. For instance, Corner Bakery Cafe decided to leverage the trend and began to offer an extensive list of low-calorie prepared-to-order breakfast, lunch, and dinner options to their guests.
According to research by John Hopkins University, it is found that sales increased by 28% for food when labelled as having healthy ingredients. However, you should know that healthy food doesn’t just mean low-calorie. It would help if you considered offering a wide variety of options, such as low-sodium, low-fat, low-sugar-content, high-protein, and so on, based on your target market’s preferences.
3. Include Allergen-Free Foods In The Menu
Studies indicate that sales of allergen-free food items have increased gradually over the period, and the trend is expected to continue in the future. In other words, more and more consumers will be looking for allergen-free food items. Bakers in the larger cities, such as New York, usually have allergen-free options in their menu, but bakers in the smaller towns are yet to catch up to the trend, which means there is room to grow business, thereby offering allergen-free baked foods.
So, assess the neighbourhood of your bakery sales to find out if there is a lack of offerings for those who are allergic to peanuts, eggs, dairy, shellfish, tree nuts, soy, and wheat. You can also capture customer data using a robust POS system and analyze the information to understand what allergen-free product can help your bakery capture more market share in your locality.
4. Promote Good Cakes
The cake is usually considered to be a gastronomical delight for many food lovers. However, many calorie-conscious customers tend to look out for calorie-wise better cakes, which means cakes with lower calorie content. Basically, these consumers seek the best value for their calories. The bakers cater to this requirement by creating far lighter cakes using innovative techniques, years of experience, and new-age equipment. Typically, the bakers ensure that food items still taste like a slice of heaven in their customers’ mouths. For instance, meringues and cakes made with fat-less airy sponges are just what these calorie-conscious customers are looking for.
Again, psychology studies show that dieters who abstain from having such heavenly food altogether often resort to binge-eating, resulting in far worse outcomes. So, many calorie-conscious consumers incorporate lighter sweet treats into their weight loss programs. On the other hand, many consumers incorporate them into their diets because they feel that a life without such pleasurable food is miserable.
So, you can produce and promote these good cakes with the help of some clever marketing, such as highlighting some of your products – light airy buns, marshmallowy meringue, etc. Additionally, these health-focused products can attract a far higher price point leading to higher profitability.
The trends mentioned above were developing even before the onset of COVID-19. However, as we look ahead to life after COVID-19, the inclination towards health-focused foods will likely continue. So, in order to establish a thriving bakery business in the US in this new world, it is essential for you to gradually include more and more health-focused food items in your bakery menu.