TURN TO BAGEL SANDWICHES TO LIFT SALES: CONSULTANT

NEW YORK -- Bagel sandwiches are a good way to up the ante on retail bakery sales, a consultant told attendees at the ninth annual Bagels Seminar here.R Retailers with bagel programs already in place can cash in on what Mickey McKee of Solganik Associates termed "Dashboard Dining."McKee recommended cutting bagel sandwiches in half to accommodate consumers' need for convenient consumption on the go.

NEW YORK -- Bagel sandwiches are a good way to up the ante on retail bakery sales, a consultant told attendees at the ninth annual Bagels Seminar here.

R> Retailers with bagel programs already in place can cash in on what Mickey McKee of Solganik Associates termed "Dashboard Dining."

McKee recommended cutting bagel sandwiches in half to accommodate consumers' need for convenient consumption on the go. Retailers should first evaluate ingredients on basis of cost, adaptability and storage characteristics when evaluating the viability of a bagel sandwich program. Versatility is also important -- McKee used the example of an Italian cream cheese which retailers can add to so that there are two versions available, one plain and one upscale.

Retailers can maximize sales opportunities by making available inexpensive handout menus which the customer can read while waiting, and which they will hopefully keep around for future fax orders, McKee said.

A display of spreads and bulk bagels is also a good merchandising tool for impulse-buying, she added. She also said retailers should experiment and test customers' preferences before increasing test recipes to commercial batch size.

The seminar is a long-standing mark of AIB's commitment to the burgeoning bagel industry, said Darrell D. Brensing, AIB vice president of education.