Report: Bakeries Could Increase Volume Sales

While shoppers are stopping into in-store bakeries to purchase products at approximately the same frequency as deli and meat departments, they’re usually only buying one product at a time, according to a recent Perishables Group report.

CHICAGO — While shoppers are stopping into in-store bakeries to purchase products at approximately the same frequency as deli and meat departments, they’re usually only buying one product at a time, according to a recent Perishables Group report.

In its March newsletter “The Fresh Perspective,” the Perishables Group said shoppers average 12 trips per year to in-store bakeries, but only 12% of those trips result in multiple purchases. Deli departments average 15 trips per year, but 29% of shoppers buy more than one item. In the fresh food departments included in the study, only the seafood department ranked below the bakery department. There, shoppers make an average of six trips per year and only 9% of shoppers buy more than one item at a time.

Although they don’t buy much per trip, most households — 92% — bought an in-store bakery item last year. Breads and rolls are the most commonly purchased bakery items, but 97% of households bought only one of those items at a time, according to the report. Specialty desserts and brownies have the lowest household penetration with only 7% and 10% of households, respectively, purchasing those items each year.

In order to lift the bakery department’s low 8% contribution to supermarket perishables sales, the Perishables Group suggests retailers look at merchandising assortment strategies, shopper traffic flow, product rotation in promotions, and product mix in ads to “identify opportunities to engage customers differently and break them out of the patterns if purchasing bakery items on a few-and-far-between basis.”

The group stresses the importance of understanding which kinds of dessert flavors, sizes and variations bring in new shoppers and encourage existing shoppers to buy more products more often. The group also recommends retailers use loyalty card analysis to learn more about bakery breakfast buyers’ shopping habits.

The Perishables Group said the analysis was done in partnership with Spire LLC, an analytics company that collected transaction data from retail chains and approximately 30 million US households.