Tesco’s plan to overhaul its in-store bakery (ISB) format is a way of playing catch-up with other UK supermarkets, according to a leading retail analyst.
This week, the supermarket announced a multi-million-pound investment to revive 850 of its ISBs, which will be branded as Your Bakery at Tesco. The first stage of the revamp started in May with the introduction of new-look bakery counters and wooden tables to display product ranges.
As part of the move, Tesco has changed 70% of its existing bakery offering and expanded its line of continental breads from 10 to 30 products, including a three-cheese bread, a range of pretzels and breadsticks and a sourdough pave.
David Gray, grocery analyst at Planet Retail, told British Baker: "In a lot of ways, Tesco is playing catch-up it has looked at the market and has been a bit slow to react and, as a result, is taking ideas from the competition. Most of the mainstream supermarkets already do continental breads, so it is something Tesco always needed to produce to raise its standards."
Tesco said in a statement that its decision to revamp its ISBs formed part of a wider investment plan, which the company announced in March.
Nick Tatum, bakery category director at Tesco, said that shoppers had become more demanding in their choice of breads and baking goods. "For many people the smell of freshly baked bread at the bakery is the most exciting part of any shopping trip. We believe we have made that experience better by creating the kind of atmosphere you would find in an artisan bakery with wooden shelves filled with a far bigger and better range of speciality breads, savoury snacks and sweet treats."
Marks & Spencer confirmed plans back in March to roll out a new bakery format throughout all stores by mid-2013, while Morrisons completed the revamp of its ISBs in May, which includes new product lines and packaging.