Value for money, differentiation, and nostalgia versus new, are just some of the key trends emerging for retailers in 2011, according to Bakehouse.

The firm has offered up some insights into the key factors shaping the retail bakery sector this year, and how they can be capitalised on.

Head of sales James Minnette said the first key trend was ‘value for money’. “Demonstrating value is essential. It’s certainly not all about offering the cheapest products, it’s more about offering good-quality products that deliver upon the expectations that come with the attached price tag.”

Another factor is ‘differentiation’, which he said would keep existing customers interested, as well as attracting new custom.

The firm has observed that although customers have been eating out less, they are still buying treats or quality baking items for use at home. Flavours are becoming more indulgent too, added Minnette.

On the nostalgia vs new trend, Bakehouse said that while there is continuing demand for traditional products and flavours, such as Eccles cakes and apple turnovers, new products often prove popular and encourage swift purchases when first unveiled.

“New products, categories or variants broaden the bakery category appeal and attract different people, creating new interest and new purchasing occasions,” commented Minnette.

The final trend, ‘capturing consumer interest’, relates to the opportunities for increasing turnover by “helping bakery products break free from the bakery aisle”. Bakehouse suggests, for example, that merchandising freshly baked pastries in complementary categories, such as food-to-go or snacking, helps to stimulate impulse purchases. Clear messaging and POS are also essential, it added.

“Promotional activity also provides retailers with another tool to support core lines and is well-received by customers seeking value for money. It is also useful to help gain trial on new products as it reduces the risk for new customers.”