It’s that time of year again for industry experts to predict consumer trends for the coming year. Chicago-based Technomic research firm recently released its 2015 Food Trends. While similar trends affect both bakeries and restaurants, here’s Bakery.com’s spin on bakery trends for 2015.
- Say “Cheeeese!”
Everyone’s a food photographer these days. Restaurant customers are taking snapshots of every food experience on their smart phones and posting them on-line. Bakeries too are finding themselves in the social media limelight, whether they sought the attention or not. Embrace it. Use and encourage the social sharing among your customers by posting your own photos and interacting with your fan base.
- Small Is STILL In
With cupcake chain Crumbs Bake Shop filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this year, some observers wonder if the cupcake craze has flagged. Is this the end of small product appeal in the bakery? Absolutely not. Consumers still want to treat themselves, but don’t want to be gluttonous. Smaller, single-serve products, like cookies, mini pastries, and bite-sized brownies, continue to meet that demand. Cupcakes may lack luster in 2015, but other single-serve treats will fill that void.
- Bakery Everywhere
Restaurants worry over the number of alternative venues selling meals. From convenience stores to food trucks, so many locations offer fresh, convenient meals. Bakeries should take note too. They need to design their retail spaces and products to draw more customers and become true destinations. Your customers have so many other choices. How does your business stand above the rest, making customers willing to come to you?
- The Dark Side
In the restaurant world, the “bite of bitters” is in. Bakeries see a consumer taste towards a bitter flavor profile with the growing popularity of darker chocolate products. On the bread side, we see more rye in 2015. The market for dark, dense, crusty, flavorful rye breads is ripe with opportunity for bakeries.
- Reality Diets
“Menus increasingly display pick-and-choose options for everyone from gluten-free eaters to vegans to paleo-diet participants; offerings are switched out as nutrition fads and fashions come and go,” the Technomic report says. That’s not so easy for bakeries. Unfortunately, wheat-based, carb- and sugar-rich bakery products are on the “no go” list for so many of these diets. Bakeries can adjust product lines, but it’s not profitable to do so on the whims of fad dieting. Don’t try to be something you’re not. A person that eliminates bread from their diet, for example, probably won’t buy from a bakery even if they offer a gluten-free version. Instead, target the 99.9% of folks NOT on a diet with your high quality products. There will always be birthdays, holidays, corporate events, school functions, etc. needing bakery products. Focus on the events, not the fads.