With customers having to work right up to Christmas there are huge opportunities for bakers and retailers to provide full-size or miniature ’to-go’ products for the busy consumer who either does not have time to make their own or wants an impulsive treat.

Christmas cake and pudding, for example, which need from a few weeks to a few months to mature are significant sales generators over the Christmas festivities. A way to capitalise on this demand is to incorporate them in a festive impulse offer, which can be used to entice customers in-store.

Consider introducing a mince pie or gingerbread character and tea or coffee deal to help attract shoppers to your business. In addition, providing ever-popular limited-edition seasonal varieties of coffee and tea, such as gingerbread latte, can encourage the customer to come in from the cold.

Boxes of premium assorted chocolates or impulse chocolate treats are further products to consider introducing over the Christmas festivities. While some might argue that chocolate treats are direct competition to higher-margin baked goods, premium chocolates purchased on impulse as gifts or an indulgence can add incremental sales.

The introduction of seasonal sandwich fillings, such as turkey and stuffing and roast beef and horseradish, plus sauces such as spiced cranberry or caramelised red onion chutney, will provide a change to the traditional year-round offerings. During the season, special-edition pasties, crisps and other snacks are also popular additions to the range.

At Christmas, product ’provenance’ is even more important because customers are either indulging themselves or purchasing treats for loved ones. If you are a family-run bakery, make sure that this is highlighted on your packaging; customers see quality and assurance in this. The supermarkets do it, so why don’t you?