Sweet thoughts

10 February, 2006
With Valentine’s just a few days away, ingredients supplier Macphie provides some top tips on how to make your customers fall madly in lovve with your products
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Window Displays: Make a real feature of your window to encourage people to linger and come into your bakery
Analyse your sales: Constantly assess your product offering. Pay attention to what sells well and adapt these for Valentine’s Day specialsYour market: Identify who your typical customers are (office workers, ‘grey’ market, school kids). What do or do they not like? What can you do to appeal to this market?Staff: Train and incentivise your staff to be in a position to promote the seasonal specialsPersonalise: Cookies and muffins can be iced in-store on demand to increase impactDifferentiate: Create Valentine’s lines with added sensory experience using gourmet fillings and toppings, indulgent flavour combinations and a high-quality appearance. Half strawberries dipped in chocolate make an indulgent decoration on muffins and cakesAdd value: Getting creative will add value and visual appeal, you can use inexpensive Valentine’s-themed sugar plaques, ribbons and packaging to make bakery lines extra specialPresentation: Make up some Valentine’s Day gift baskets that will command a premiumSigns: Signs have been shown to increase sales by up to 49%. Use words such as ‘mouth-watering’, ‘freshly baked’, ‘moist’ and ‘delicious’ to tempt people to buy Novelty shapes: Frogs, lips, hearts and flowers create a point of difference.Bag a heartMini Brownie Bites recipeAdd 130g vegetable oil to 1kg Chocolate Mississippi Cake/Muffin Mix. Mix for 30 seconds on 1st speed, add 290g water and 140g of sugar and mix for one minute on 1st speedScrape down and mix for a further one minute on 1st speed. Fold in chocolate chips, as requiredScale as required and spread batter flat. Bake at 180°C (360°F) for 35 minutesOnce cool, cut into squares or hearts and decorate

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