Few things bring me as much joy as a delicious pastry or baked good. To be completely honest, I wanted to write this blog for two reasons. One: there has been so much innovation and activity in the bakery space that I wanted to shed some light on what I was seeing. Two: I will find any excuse that I can to eat a buffet style-amount of baked goods.
If you are enjoying a delicious cake, cupcake, cookie or brownie, chances are you bought them from either your nearest grocery store chain or your local café. It used to be that packaged snacks were trailing the way for baked good innovation. As of lately, though, grocery stores and cafe’s are leading the way! There is something about a fresh, over-the-counter pastry that is resonating with consumers more than ever. Bakeries also offer more variety flavors since they hold strong seasonal / holiday associations. This also allows them to be leveraged further through use of LTOs to drive interest.
According to Mintel, convenience, freshness, and indulgence drive sales of in-store bakeries. Also, 1/3 of bakery product launched last year were private label. Sales of in-store bakeries reached $13.8 Billion in 2019, which was a 15% growth since 2014. The category is also expected to grow by another 13% by 2024.
Living in Cincinnati, the two big grocery store chains are Kroger and Whole Foods, while the two biggest bakeries in the area are Busken and The BonBonerie. I decided to go to all four stores to see what they offered and how “on trend” it was, not only with each other, but with traditional packaged treats we see on the grocery shelf.
Was I bloated for four days after I ate all these pastries? Yes! Was my wife utterly disgusted by my choices? Of course! Was it all worth it? You bet! There is just nothing like a fresh, delicious baked good. It used to be that local bakeries had the best stuff, and while it is of the highest quality, grocery store bakeries are JUST as good. I couldn’t believe how fresh and flavorful the treats at Kroger and Whole Foods were. So to anyone who wants a morning donut or a late night cupcake, but you live too far from a café or bakery- give your local grocery store a try. You will not be disappointed.