Progressive Grocer Independent

JUN 2016

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Page 30 of 43

June 2016 | Defining the Independent Market | 31 keep us ahead of the pack," Mitch- ell notes. "I think that's why, most importantly, we show increases in this category. Tings are geared towards health-conscious, more clean-label eating, and I think it's always positive when bakery can be a part of that." Several years ago, Harmons com- mitted to removing hydrogenated ingredients and trans fats from its products, and began making more items from scratch, using clean ingredients. For example, the bakery now makes its own buttercream from real butter. Tis move has been well received by customers. "Even though it's a sweet treat and high in calories, it's still real food," Mitchell says. "Tat's part of Har- mons' mission statement and values: It's real food made by real people." Dorothy Lane Market has had success with the same type of messag- ing. Some of its best-selling products, such as newly introduced apple and raspberry oatmeal bars, are doing well because "they're clean, all-natural and good," Fox says. "Tey're not cheap, but they're very high quality and they eat very well." Te bars come in a 4-count package for $9.99, or $2.50 per bar. Hot Products Breads and cakes continue to be the two best-selling product catego- ries within the bakery department, while celebration cakes and seasonal specialties are seeing the most growth, according to PG's market research. Harmons has received a lot of demand for gourmet, high-end pastry items, while Dorothy Lane Market is seeing success with the bars and Fudge Brookie bites, a bite-sized cross between a chocolate chip cookie and a brownie, sold in a 24-count tub (picu- tred on page 32). But more than any single product, the movement in bakery is toward clean labels, says Fox. "What I'm hearing more and more is that consumers read the labels," he adds. "Tey want to know what's in it, and they want to understand the labels. So we're trying to stay with clean ingredients; that's probably the No. 1 thing." Bakery Challenges Providing consistent products is always a challenge for Harmons, with its emphasis on scratch-made products. Baking is done in all of the stores, so "consistency is always the No. 1 chal- lenge," Mitchell admits. "When you have a made-from-scratch category, you Source: Progressive Grocer Market Research, 2016 Increase Decrease Stayed the Same 42.1% 52.8% Bakery Holding Steady Bakery sales change 2015, compared with 2014 10.5% 6.9% 47.4% 40.3% Expected sales change for 2016 Increase Decrease Stay the Same Independents Total Market 47.9% 5.5% 46.6% 44.7% 7.9% 47.4% Change in bakery department profits Profits Up Profits Down Unchanged 32.3% 12.9% 54.8% 17.1% 22.9% 60.0%

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