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

If you want to sell more bakery products to consumers, one of the best places to start is by looking at who your customers are and, most importantly, whether you have taken the time to understand what they want.

Market insights agency him!, which focuses on bakery product customers, told us that 10% of our customers are made up of financially crunched students; this group responds very well to multi-purchase discount offers for example two for the price of one.

Our next group of customers are the ’young, free and singles’, 18-34 years old, employed, and living in shared housing or with parents; they make up 7% of our market. They are also price-sensitive, but less so than students, so the idea is to get them hooked on a combination deal such as sandwiches and sweet or savoury pastries for a slight discount no more than 15% off the total price.

Three groups that are very important are the ’child-free couples’, at 24%, who have disposable income and do not perceive bakery items and coffee as expensive. This group hits you hard in the morning and sometimes visits later in the day for a quick snack. ’At-home mums’ represent 17% of your market and are looking for a break with their little ones most likely a mid-morning/afternoon meeting with other mums. Ease of access and seating is top of mind for this group, so widen those aisles and focus on comfortable seating. Next come the ’busy providers’, at 22%; they are living with kids or with partners with kids and are working full time, so think multi-bag with this group something to eat now and something to take to the office or back home.

Last, but by no means least, are ’retired greys’, at 20%. This market is looking for that meet-and-greet occasion with their friends. As well as happily munching away on cakes and pastries, this group is also partial to the odd sausage roll.

So take a long hard look at your customers to understand who they are and what they are they buying, then review your range accordingly.