Bread, cookies, cakes, donuts, pastries, or pies. Bakery, in every form, has been a dear friend to everyone. Apart from being an essential part of every meal in the form of whole wheat & multigrain bread, the bakery has evolved massively.
And needless to say, the entire retail bakery industry still continues to progress with more innovative ideas and ever-changing trends!
Whether it’s your birthday or you just had a hard breakup, cakes, pizzas, and pies are always there to cheer you up. And now, it’s like we just want an excuse to eat that chocolate cake poured with chocolate syrup and sprinklers all over, don’t we?
While most of us find our momentary heavens while savoring those delicious delicacies, for others bakery can be a passion.
If you’re someone who is passionate about baking and are planning to start or expand your business in 2022, this blog post is for you. In this blog post, we’re going to discuss the latest trends in the bakery sector that the US has been acknowledging lately.
But let’s first understand why bakery entrepreneurs should pay heed to the changing trends in the industry.
Why Following Trends Is Necessary for the Baking Industry
The Internet has disrupted how people used to do business. Moreover, COVID-19 accelerated this digital adoption unexpectedly. Even the SMEs (Small & Medium Enterprises) comfortably continuing with their conventional business models struggled to survive and were left with no choice but to set up an online presence.
Now, digital trends are very volatile and constantly changing. Consumers are seeking more convenience & a variety of options everywhere and have little tolerance for poor service.
Thus, businesses, especially in the B2C sphere, have to follow up with where their industry is heading. The baking & cafe-coffee industry is no different.
Here are the main reasons why you, as a bakery entrepreneur, should care about the changing trends in the industry:
- To stay relevant with your customers/target audience and catch their attention.
- To strategize a killer business plan for your bakery startup & attract investors to your idea.
- To provide services and pivot your business according to the demand of the hour.
- To better forecast the future of your industry and act upon it from now itself.
- To stay parallel, if not ahead, with your competitors in the market.
- To better analyze what works for your business and what doesn’t.
- To build a legacy with more creative ideas in your marketing strategies.
Trend and buzz are two different things. Many businesses often mistake replacing them with each other. Where on one hand, it’s essential to follow the trends, businesses should refrain from getting obsessed with momentary buzz or overnight virality on the Internet.
And business owners should try to focus on the trends that could help them in the long-term more than focusing too much on the viral content.
Now that you have got the idea of why industry trends are important for your businesses, let us now explore the ongoing and upcoming consumer trends in the baking industry in 2022.
Top 10 Retail Bakery Trends in 2022
Savoring Delicacies Online
People love sharing their food updates on social media. Instagram, being a photo-first platform, gets bombarded with visually appealing food pictures every minute.
In fact, 25% of people who share food photos do so to document what they ate that day, 12% to focus on the art, and 16% to document a special day or event.
And businesses have been leveraging this opportunity by staying highly active on the social media platforms where their customers are hanging out.
You can also woo your target audience online for your bakery business. Here’s how:
- Publish regular visual content on social media.
- Make your services Instagrammable. Pay extra care to the decoration and packaging of your food.
- Encourage your customers to share the food they ordered from your store by running different campaigns, competitions, and rewards.
- Reply to the comments on your posts to make a real bond with your customers.
That Extra Icing of “Entertainment”
Today, “dining out” is more than just eating food with family and friends. Modern consumers seek options for socializing with different groups and fun activities in addition to lip-smacking food and beverages.
And such experiences are often referred to as “Entertainment”. It’s interesting to note that about 60% of people show interest in visiting an eatertainment and 40% in other forms of establishments like an arcade or a social emporium.
Entertainment can be in several different forms on small as well as large levels. If you’re open to experimenting and want to include some fun on your side menu, you can try these ideas on a small level:
- Target different groups to diversify your customer base.
- Invite local comedians, storytellers, musicians, and other such artists to increase engagement in your place.
- Create different clubs, like a book club, a chess club, or an artist club & encourage people to be a part of these internal groupings.
- Organize occasional events and competitions at your place, both offline as well as online to stay connected with your loyal customers.
- If your time and budget allow, try to start or take part in podcasts and talk about local news and trivia of your local region on a daily basis. The best way to connect to your audience is to relate with them.
Though it’s always a good idea to experiment with these ideas, you should always refrain from overdoing them. It’s always suggested to start small and then jump to other ideas. For example, start by creating one or two clubs at max and try to make these famous.
Creating too many clubs and organizing too many events can confuse your audience and it might as well tire you eventually.
At-home celebrations have already been on the rise since COVID-19 and now that the lockdown restrictions are in place, people do not want to miss out on outer gatherings as well. And what’s the point of a celebration without desserts anyway, right?
Thus, the baking industry, in 2022, would be focussing on innovating celebration-style food decorations. People are showing off their dessert charcuterie boards and brands like Cheryl’s Cookies have been getting along to grab these moments of celebration.
Bakery startups can keep a stock of jubilation-signifying materials like confetti and sparkles to tap the 2022-market.
Extra Sweetening with Emotion-led Business
There’s bad news and good news. The bad news is that stress levels among people are on a constant rise but the good news is that people are becoming more aware. People no longer want to compromise on their quality of life and seek things that would calm them and enhance positive emotions.
According to Mintel, 72% of US consumers agree that they enjoy the activities that remind them of their childhood. Joining the bakery juggernaut is one of those nostalgia-inducing activities.
Thus, apart from cooking desserts, cafes and bakery businesses can also create side incomes by selling bakery kits and cooking guides to their customers.
Making “Snacking” More Fun!
People who have a sweet tooth and an adventurous soul are seeking more innovative forms of snacking to relish their leisure time. 67% of consumers want snacks that are fun to eat.
To entice the customers more, bakery businesses might be seen innovating with their menu and delighting consumers with more exciting snacking options.
North American consumers have been showing extra concerns over their health majorly since the coronavirus outbreak. They’re seeking food with nutritional values that could help them increase immunity and energy instead of making them lethargic and fat.
In fact, a study suggests that 91% of consumers think that food and beverages with distinct ingredients are healthier. This trend has increased the demand for healthier alternatives to their day-to-day baked food like gluten-free bread and cakes, high on protein, and low on fat and carb.
Consumers are also looking for options that are minimally processed and are low on preservatives
Source: Mordor Intelligence
Hybrid Work, Hybrid Solutions
The hybrid working model has resulted in a societal shift everywhere. Such shifts often change the market behavior, including that of the baking & snacking industry.
Source: Snack and Bakery
- Work-from-home culture has benefited everybody. Employees can easily move to suburban places with lower utility bills and a healthier quality of life. Plus, while working from home, they seek more convenience.
- With bigger houses and larger pantries, people can buy and store food in bulk.
- Frozen foods, multipacks, and convenient ready-to-eat packaged food items, like meal bars, are expected to be high in demand.
- And apparently, services like home delivery & e-grocery will stay in demand as it is or can increase even more.
Sustainable Culinary & Transparency 360
Conscious decision-making is one of the hottest trends in the market today. Consumers are getting more interested in the scenarios playing behind the curtains.
Before purchasing your product or service, they want to know its ingredients and supplies, the social causes that your business is supporting, and how you’re treating the groups you’re dealing with every day.
Modern consumers in North America do not want to invest in something that would harm their society and environment. They want to see a clear picture of how a business is being run.
Hence, bakery business owners should start checking their carbon footprint, bring more empathy, and be transparent with their customers.
If you’re just starting out as a bakery business, the first step you can take towards becoming socially responsible is to avoid using plastic packaging in your food orders.
It would not only lessen your carbon footprint but would also send a positive message to your customers.
On-the-go Packaging & Curb-side Pickup
It’s no surprise that people are getting busier and want time-saving hacks in their day-to-day lives. They do not want to spend much time sitting in a restaurant every time hunger knocks on their gut. They prefer snacking from time to time instead of having a slow and heavy meal at once.
And on-the-go food, as well as curbside pickup, are some of the hacks that they find very convenient and time-saving. Hence, baked food sellers can be seen pivoting their business model to welcome the strategies that get along with their busy customers.
Let’s throw more light on “On-the-go food” & curbside pickup trends:
- Sellers should keep the option of single-serve packaging snacks like bagels, pretzels, croissants, etc. Packaging such snacks with simple paper sleeves, disposable cardboard materials, or even tulip cups would benefit baked goods sellers.
- 44% of people snack while traveling between activities. Thus, paper packaging won’t work out for such consumers. Portable snack packaging that can include materials like sturdier cardboard boxes can work out well. Sellers can enhance the customer experience by providing packaging cup-holder trays and tissue paper.
- Curb-side pickup means delivering the order at a place that is more convenient for the customers than receiving it at home or picking it up from the cafe. This service became even more famous while following the covid safety protocols and is likely here to stay.
When Gourmet Met Personalization
Customers love personalized experiences. Be it two-click tracking of their order on their smartphones or getting recommended with the food of their choice, or receiving loyalty points from their favorite shops, they feel happy and more connected to the business they’re shopping from.
Thus, bakery businesses should look out for ideas that can help them make their customer experience more empathic and customized.
Here’s how a bakery business can boost personalization in autopilot mode:
- Build a kickass website and configure GPS tracking and geo-fencing features to help your customers track their orders online.
- Consolidate the history of your customers and recommend items according to their previous buying history.
- Give loyalty points and rewards to your regular customers to build a stronger bond with them.
- Store in-store-bakery goods that can be instantly customized on demand. For example, cakes with blank faces for customers who want tailored messages for their day-to-day celebrations.
Follow the experts & your competitors across all the platforms, subscribe to the newsletter of an industry publication, and take part in the regional podcasts and events to stay updated with your market’s mood.
You never know who might become the next trendsetter and which idea would inspire you to kick off your brand awareness and growth!
Following bakery industry trends helps owners create a roadmap and brainstorm a killer business plan for their business. Apparently, entrepreneurs can leverage these predictions, improve their service dynamics, and attract the masses to their businesses more effectively.
We hope you found this blog post insightful and delicious. Until next time, bye!