In-store bakeries (ISBs) are perfectly placed to meet today’s consumer demands for freshly made food and retail theatre. This is why the In-store Bakery Award is such an important category at this year’s Baking Industry Awards.

An integral part of the supermarket offering, the ISB gives consumers an experience to enjoy when they visit a store, whether through the smell of baking bread, the spectacle of bakers hard at work making the goods or the tasty products shoppers take home with them. For many shoppers, being able to pick up a freshly baked loaf of bread, savoury product or sweet treat is an important reason for visiting a supermarket.

The ISB is also a department where retailers can experiment with innovative new lines and limited-edition, seasonal products. This enables them to quickly meet new consumer trends, such as smaller pack sizes, different flavours and healthier products. If your supermarket runs in-store bakeries which make goods for sale, please tell your managers to enter this award. The award is open to all supermarket ISBs.

This award invites entries from all ISB managers who can demonstrate a well-tailored product range, good availability and ideas for maximising sales and promoting growth. In addition, judges will be looking for outstanding customer service, good team spirit and excellent management of resources or skills development.

ISBs employ a huge number of people and have an important role to play in developing skills in the baking industry. Judges will be keen to hear about staff training and how this has improved the service and product range offered to customers. Perhaps one of your team has helped develop a new product or given a twist to an old favourite, which has boosted sales. If so, we want to hear about it. Equally, ISB teams that go the extra mile to ensure they have exciting bakery displays and excellent availability should also enter.

Of course, customer service is one of the most important parts of a successful ISB. Do you listen to customers and use the information to tailor your offering? Perhaps you have been involved in community events or fund-raising.

Entrants to last year’s award were commended by judges for ideas such as staggering bread production to offer warm fresh bread throughout the day and developing a range of muffins to meet new consumer demands.


=== Ian Cain, bakery manager at Tesco, Meltham Lane, in Chesterfield, on winning last year ===

"Winning the award cemented what I’ve always known - our team is the best in the business. We’d previously won an award for being the best in-store bakery in Tesco, but to win one for being the best in the UK is something else. It was great recognition for all the hard work that our team puts in every day.

"Tesco had a plaque made with everyone’s name on to commemorate the win, which is on the wall in the bakery next to the award itself, a photo from the night and the certificate. Customers are always commenting on the display and it gives them even more confidence in what we do. It all helps build our reputation with customers."