As more consumers partake in morning eating, in-store bakeries are competing for the increasingly sought-after breakfast share, according to Supermarket News. Nielsen Fresh found that breakfast bakery dollars, including bagel, muffins, donuts, cinnamon rolls and coffee cake, rose 2.8% in 2016.
Groceries are leveraging freshly-made pastries to give them an advantage over food channels like C-stores and QSRs. In 2016 alone, there were 478 million visits to grocery stores for breakfast meals and morning snacks, and 1.6 billion c-store visits, according to the NPD Group.
Supermarkets also are expanding and improving their grab-and-go bakery offerings and product formulas to include healthy, wholesome ingredients that consumers demand.
Consumer demand for grocery "experiences" and premium offerings are shaping the in-store bakery, and pushing grocers to transform what was once a quick stop into a space where shoppers can sit and sip their morning coffee.
While some supermarket companies today take the sit-down-and-sip concept under their own management, others like Kroger tend to partner with Starbucks or a similar operation – so long as they enable customers to take a break from their shopping trip or make the store into a destination for something other than groceries.
Store branded baking operations can do very well with coffee and tea service, especially if they advertise quality ingredients and baking methods around the store area and display cases. Most baked goods aren't healthy in the traditional sense, but some can still fall within the "clean" product category thanks to whole and sprouted grains. Adding clean and free-from breakfast items to the products offered can help hook health-conscious consumers who may be more likely to eat breakfast at home where they can control what ingredients make up their breakfast.
These kinds of add-on services – along with a focus on customer service – are going to be the saviors of supermarkets in the years to come as they compete with other retailers and e-commerce sites such as Amazon.