The Co-op is to substantially expand its premium own-label Truly Irresistible range across its in-store bakeries.
Head of bakery Mike Owen told British Baker: "After an 18-month review, we have developed a number of wonderful new lines. We are refitting 700 stores this year for an exciting new look and feel, adding a much better ambience to our stores.
"We have worked very closely with our bakery suppliers to launch a fantastic new range of breads and morning goods. Our new premium range of Truly Irresistible in-store breads breads will, where space allows, be displayed in pillars of woven bread baskets, to draw the eye."
Included in the new offering are: large, all-butter croissants, triple chocolate cookies (using white and dark chocolate), golden wholemeal rolls, focaccia topped with Cheddar cheese and red and white onion. Other new launches include rye bread topped with caraway seed, a multi-grain rustique including sunflower and poppy seeds, a four-counties cheese knot with Wensleydale and Cheddar, plus a sunflower batard loaf and olive rolls that contain a combination of both green and black olives.
The new range has been trialled in stores that include the Islington site, where bakery sales have seen a huge 70% increase, according to Owen.
He added: "We have worked hard to deliver true provenance in the range, incorporating top-quality ingredients and healthy inclusions. We have introduced a variety of shapes and sizes suited to all eating occasions.
"Importantly, we are making sure the goods really deliver on taste and texture what they promise visually. The Co-op has been working with bakers such as Délifrance Cuisine de France and La Fornaia, among others, on the new range.
On the cake side, category buyer Stuart Chadwick said: "Our Truly Irresistible range accounts for 20% of our total cake sales. We will be introducing new two-pack sizes next year."