By Max Jenvey of Oxxygen Marketing Partnership, a strategic business firm, specialising in the bakery, foodservice and convenience retail sectors

Did you know that a staggering 31% of bakery product customers would value nutrition information (him! Food-to-go Report). But perhaps it’s not so surprising really, as your consumers continue to demand healthier snacks and food while on the move. In the same him! report we also found out that 21% of customers are purchasing bakery products.

With the focus very much on health these days, even the NHS is constantly asking people to consume their 5-a-day fruit or vegetables. But many people find that challenge quite difficult to fulfil, considering their busy schedules especially when they are working late and travelling often. So how can bakery retailers make it easier for their customers to achieve, thereby increasing sales and customer satisfaction? It’s simple: give them what they want by adding the right ingredients to your products and clearly communicating the health benefits.

One good way to support customers and their healthier lifestyles would be to offer the ’Easy 3 of your 5-a-day’. Why not consider stocking unsweetened 100% fruit or vegetable juice; dried fruit, such as currants, dates, sultanas and figs; as well as whole fruit like apples, bananas and oranges which are easily consumed on the move.

Keep it interesting and change your meal deals regularly. Always offer two different choices. For instance: Meal deal 1 a fresh orange juice, a tomato avocado sandwich, and a pack of dried fruit; Meal deal 2 a salad to go with a wholegrain bagel, a banana/apple/pear and a smoothie. And remember that blended vegetable soups are always a hit with a seeded roll.

Help your customers see your offer as the perfect solution to their healthier dietary needs. Design a new pastry with a delicious fresh fruit filling, for example. Or re-engineer your flapjacks and cereal bars with wholegrain goodness and dried fruit; think antioxidants and stuff those traybakes full of cranberries, nuts and honey.

Most importantly, clearly communicate your healthier options. If you have a gym nearby, arrange a tasting session with some of the instructors, to create a perfect pre- or post-workout snack.

So set your bakery apart and become the number one healthy destination in your area for food-on-the go.