== Nick Harris ==


Managing director, BFP Wholesale

Following on from the welcome news that the National Association of Master Bakers (NA) has created an action group to promote the craft baking industry, are there lessons to be learnt from how large companies address their marketing?

Household budgets are tighter than for many years, so the supermarkets have entered another price war, grabbing the headlines with some incredible discounts. Should the independent craft baker follow the prices down and, if not, what can they do? One strategy is to promote the heritage and provenance of the branded product, highlighting quality and tradition.

Many of our independent craft bakery customers use promotions that we and our competitors run, but does this really help? Surely the real challenge for this sector is to encourage more people into the shops, who will then spend as much as they can afford during their visit.

The recently launched NA action group has an objective to remind people that the independent baker has an important commercial and social role in the community and also to inspire the baker to maximise their involvement in this local position.

So why not a marketing campaign for all the independent bakeries, highlighting the quality, tradition and convenience of your local master baker? Could the two craft bakery trade organisations and the ingredients’ trade body not work together on a national campaign to promote the sector as a whole? Suppliers would surely support this initiative, so why can’t the independent bakeries have their own national Offer of the Month, highlighting the positive messages as to why this sector is so important?