A bake on the shop floor model in the Tesco Twickenham Express store

Source: Tesco

Tesco is trialling an in-store bakery (ISB) model which allows it to bake items on the shop floor.

Aptly named ‘bake on the shop floor’, the model is currently in operation at the Twickenham Express store and incorporates an oven, cooling rack, loose product display cassettes, and packed product shelving in just over one square metre of shop floor space.

This enables “fresh in-store bakery goods to be produced without the need for any back-up areas or specific ISB production space”, according to the retailer, which noted that the model can deliver Tesco’s full ISB range including pastries, savoury items, and bread.

Tesco bake on the shop floor model 2

Source: Tesco

“The model has been developed for our smaller stores where there isn’t enough space for our super lean operation,” Tesco bakery specialist for ISB John Lamper told British Baker.

The super lean ISB model was rolled out last year as a way to allow smaller Tesco stores to offer an ISB range. It comprises a single unit which includes an oven, table, racks, and trays – all the elements required to run a bake-off operation. Having proved “really successful”, the super lean model will be extended to at least 25 additional stores this year.

“We know that freshly baked ISB products are important to customers so unlocking a model where you can bake, cool, pack, and display all in a shop floor area has enabled us to deliver freshness and our ISB experience in stores that we wouldn’t have previously been able to,” Lamper added. “The super lean model unlocked new ISB space for us, but by creating an ‘all in one’ model, where the entire production operation takes place on the shop floor, we can serve even more stores.”

Bake on the shop floor started out as an idea from the convenience team who asked how they could get ISB into more convenience stores, Lamper explained. Working in partnership with Mono, Tesco’s main equipment supplier for ISB, the team gradually built and tested the model over a series of months with experts from the retailer’s business support, convenience, design standards, engineering, technical maintenance, supplier field and commercial function teams involved.

The latest trial is described as “delivering great results” with the model also set to roll out to at least 25 more stores this calendar year.

It comes shortly after Lidl overtook Tesco for the largest share of the in-store bakery market, with the discounter’s share climbing to 18.2% for the 12 weeks ending 17 March 2024. This was slightly ahead of Tesco, which accounted for 18% of the market during the period.