Issue link: http://magazine.progressivegrocer.com/i/723369
126 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | September 2016 Bakery Fresh Food Springs, Ga.-based CSM Bakery Solutions, which has launched the Crafted by Cinnabon pound cake, muffin and cookie line in time for the fall season, and expanded its Hershey's and Reese's sweet bakery offer- ings to include muffins and brownies. "For Halloween, cupcakes, cookies and brownies tend to overperform, while dessert cakes, cookies and brownies are more of the focus for winter holidays." Armed with such knowledge, bakery managers need to get the holiday product mix right. "By opti- mizing their assortment to include the right categories, flavors and price points, retailers can work to achieve their fair share of fall and winter holiday success," observes Dunmire. "By bringing in extra stock and offering easy, ready-to-serve, sharing-size options to drive impulse purchases, great things can happen. "A few key rules of thumb to maximize flavor assortment are to have enough chocolate items in the mix, as chocolate is always the No. 1-selling flavor at this time of year," she adds. "Offering or increasing options in key seasonal flavors can increase sales, too. Red velvet, peppermint, carrot, and pumpkin spice are popular flavors that truly perform during this season. And watch for flavors like salted caramel that have been steadily climbing in the recent past and can play a role in a successful holiday flavor mix." For his part, David Skinner marketing manager at Omaha, Neb.-based James Skinner Baking Co., whose newest holiday offerings are the Jumbo Festive Fall Ring and Pumpkin Spice Rolls, advises "catering to regional flavors and specialty holiday items. Under- standing the consumer you're selling to will enable you to create the proper ambiance you're aiming for, as well as the appropriate lineup of specialty bakery items." One advantage of the in-store bakery, he points out, is that it's "a very customizable department compared to center aisle and other fresh departments." Given that ability to customize, items can eas- ily take on a festive look. " We recommend using holiday-specific icing colors on items throughout the bakery," says Poulemanos. "Colors such as orange, green, brown and black are perfect for the fall and Halloween season, and should be used to convert everyday items to seasonal ones." For example, she suggests, add an orange drizzle to everyday brownies, cookies and doughnuts to create a seasonal offering. "Shades of blue, red and green are perfect for the winter holidays. Simply decorate an existing dessert cake with a poinsettia or snowflake to create a seasonal offering," she adds. Retailers shouldn't avoid stocking the more expensive options, either. "Many consumers are willing to pay more, especially this time of year, for premium products that are made with the finest ingredients," notes Dunmire. "Trading someone up from a midprice pumpkin pie to a decadent dessert can improve retailer margins, as consumers are less price-sensitive this time of year. And specialty des- serts, such as tiramisu and tortes, can play a role in capturing more and higher dollar rings." Leading the Way Once you've got the correct items, why wait for cus- tomers to enter the bakery department to start selling? " A holiday-themed display adorned with your most holiday-relevant bakery items should greet the shopper right as they walk in the door," sug- gests Skinner. "An enticing-enough display that also alludes to the consumer that they should head towards the in-store bakery for more great finds is a great starting point for driving foot traffic to the department once the consumer arrives at the store." midd L e mana G ement Rich's Our Specialty Sweet m iddles cookies come in a seasonal pumpkin spice variety. F e S tive F ee L a bountiful United Supermarkets display pairs holiday treats with wine. a holiday- themed display adorned with your most holiday- relevant bakery items should greet the shopper right as they walk in the door." — d avid Skinner, James Skinner Baking Co.