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Sales at in-store supermarket bakeries climbed through the first half of 2011, fueled by trends like smaller portion sizes, innovative donuts and pies and bake-off production, according to What’s in Store 2012, the annual trends publication from the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association (IDDBA), Madison, Wis.
To offset financial hardship, consumers are eating at home more often. In fact, 91% of households buy at least one in-store bakery (ISB) item each year, says the study. In-store bakery department sales increased 2.2% to a total of $10.4 billion over the 52-week span ending May 28, according to Perishables Group, a West Dundee, Ill.-based independent consulting firm.
Healthier, smaller portions
Mini portion sizes of about two-to-four bites are a hot trend, as they retail at lower price points and typically carry less of a caloric impact compared to their full-size counterparts. Mini pies, cupcakes and cake pops are examples of this trend. The “free-from” trend-foods free of gluten, nuts, allergens and animal products as well as organic and non-GMO products-is another solution escalating in ISBs. Fiber and whole grains are healthful additions to ISB selections, particularly in light of the new 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which encourages consumption of more whole grains.
Shoppers want a wider array of sweet desserts, including intriguing gourmet and wacky donuts, crème puffs and sweet crepes, to name a few. Donuts span the flavor spectrum, from novel to sophisticated. Wacky donuts, such as those topped with nostalgic treats such as Fruit Loops and Rice Krispie treats, are the kiddie counterpart to more sophisticated donuts, like those filled with fresh fruit preserves or gourmet chocolate.
Pies are available in a plethora of shapes and sizes, including pie pops on sticks, upside-down pies and pies baked in canning jars.
Additionally, the study says that flavor is as vital as ever in the bakery. Sweet, hot, salty and tart combinations give consumers a double jolt of delectable dessert indulgence. For instance, baby back rib cupcakes combine sweet and savory in one decadent package.
Customers are keen to know where their food comes from. That’s why more grocery stores today offer fresh-baked artisan breads produced on-site. Bake-off is the most favored ISB production method, with 32.2% of bakeries reporting it as their primary production method.
However, scratch baking has made a significant comeback. Nearly 16% of surveyed bakery operators said scratch baking best defined their production method in 2010, nearly double the 8.1% reported five years ago, according to Progressive Grocer magazine.
Bakery products have 91% household penetration, according to Perishables Group’s FreshFacts Shopper Insights (powered by Spire data), evidence that a growing number of consumers across the demographic spectrum seek out fresh supermarket bakery options.
To save money, consumers are eating at home more, adding to ISB sales. More than half of retailers surveyed said the at-home eating movement boosted sales in the 52 weeks ending March 31.
U.S. shoppers made 12 ISB purchase trips on average in the 52 weeks ending May 31. Sixteen percent of all grocery transactions included at least one bakery item. Roughly 12% of households bought more than one bakery item, the study showcases.
Singles are less likely to buy bakery products, which tend to be sold in multi-serving packages and can lose their freshness before one person can consume them.
White/Caucasian consumers make up 75% of bakery consumers in top stores. Hispanic consumers also have a strong shopping index for ISBs. In fact, the growing Hispanic population will noticeably impact ISB sales. Couples with no children and older consumers are more likely than households with children to visit ISBs.
For more information on this report, go to www.iddba.org.