A stack of golden chocolate chip cookies on a wooden table

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It’s no longer business as usual for bakeries as the cost-of-living crisis bites, according to Baker & Baker which has unveiled some top tips to help businesses remain competitive.

Consumer research by the sweet baked goods manufacturer for its latest Bakery Bites report found that just one in five consumers feel their spending hasn’t changed as a result of rising costs.

“The research indicated that it can no longer be business as usual for bakeries, foodservice operators and retailers,” said Helen Sinclair, UK marketing manager at Baker & Baker.

“The top tips are a mixture of quick-wins and longer-term considerations to help operators remain competitive during these challenging times.”

Here are some top tips on how bakeries can remain competitive during difficult times:

Demand-led baking

Batch baking from scratch means a fixed number of products must be baked regardless of consumer demand. Baking from frozen pucks or part-baked products, and/or supplementing with thaw and serve goods, means only the number required are baked off/defrosted, helping to reduce waste and to keep an eye on the bottom line.

Turn waste into wow

This is often a missed opportunity, according to Baker & Baker, but using offcuts in other recipes can really create the ‘wow factor’ and help products stand out in store. This can be done as toppings on bakery products including doughnuts, brownies, cookies etc, or as part of desserts or milkshakes, such as brownies in sundaes. 

Stay familiar

Keep to familiar flavours, or twists on the familiar. When money is limited, people are less prepared to try new products and flavours for fear they might not like them and they will have wasted their money, Baker & Baker noted. This preference falls in line with the top flavour trends for bakery in 2023, which found that although some consumers are still willing to experiment with innovative flavours, many shoppers are seeking comfort in the familiar.

Sacrifice size rather than quality

Some bakers are turning to alternative ingredients to reduce costs but Baker & Baker said it is worth considering reducing the product size rather than potentially taking a hit on quality.

Get creative

Use products in different ways so less skus need to be held. This, the firm said, helps to protect margins. For example, a cookie puck can be baked off as a traditional cookie or included as part of a hot ice cream dessert.