Gordon Gafa, category director, bakery and wholesale at Tesco, was speaking at the British Society of Baking (BSB) autumn conference.
Twenty-two weeks ago Gafa unveiled the first new-look in-store bakery (ISB), at the supermarket giant’s Maldon store in Essex. He said: “I want to put a lot of care, attention and love back into our bakeries.”
There are now 30 redesigned ISBs in Tesco stores across the country, and five further are being redesigned each week: “All the stores that carry the new-look ISB are recording close to double-digit growth.”
Gafa took over the category 18 months ago, and said he was pleased to note a “broad-based improvement” since that time.
“We cut prices by 5%, which was necessary for the market. Our supplier satisfaction levels are at 94%, and we now have a reduced reliance on offers.”
Talking about what he’s doing to improve the bakery category he said: “ISB customers said our offering was good, but uninspiring. That, to me, is not good enough. What you are seeing is the transformation of our bakery proposition. I want the bakery to be a reason to come to Tesco.”
But he added: “Investment in ISB is succeeding, but we’re not done. It’s all about giving customers propositions they want to come back to again and again.”
When asked how this offering would be different to the Euphorium bakery business (the sale of which will be finalised on 20 October), he said: “Euphorium was never that big and never that relevant. We don’t know how to run branded bakeries and we don’t want to.
“Customers want to see baking in-store and Euphorium didn’t do that. It was never something we were going to take forward in the long-term plan.”
Elsewhere, Tesco said it was “regaining competitiveness” in its core UK business as it recorded a seventh consecutive quarter of growth.