Aroma takes the Cake!

by Meline Beach

The power of aroma can make your mouth water, change your mood and trigger thoughts and memories. The smell of baked goods, in particular, can make you feel calm, happy and hungry.

Key takeaways to a successful baked goods food service program:

Baked goods prepared from scratch or finished on-site fill stores with appetizing aromas and encourage impulse purchases. Therefore, merchandising baked goods as close to the coffee station or the checkout counter as possible makes good business sense.

The options of thaw and serve and freezer to oven products finished on site enable c-store owners/operators to participate in the baked goods category without the added labour of baking from scratch.

Know your clientele – what products they like and the time of day they shop and deliver a baked goods program that meets their needs. Offer a variety of individually-wrapped grab and go baked goods that look and taste great throughout the day, focus on top sellers, drop low sellers and consider ethnic or regional favourites.

Use tactics, such as bundling baked goods with coffee, or offer a “buy one, get one half off” promotion to help build customer traffic, enhance customer purchasing habits and consume your inventory before its expiration.

As with all food items, presentation, quality and food safety are paramount.

There isn’t anything much better than the smell of something baking – sweet cinnamon, fresh bread or warm fruit filling – right from the oven. A baked goods offering as part of your foodservice program has the power to entice customers to make sweet, indulgent, impulse purchases.

“Keep your display fresh, clean and never, ever run out of your top sellers,” says Van Beek. “Offer some variety–be it products, ingredients or regional preferences, know your customers’ purchasing habits and offer baked goods during those times of day.” With a small tray and dome, serving utensils or toothpicks and serviettes, Van Beek believes that a sampling program is an effective way to introduce a baked goods program at a relatively low cost. “A C&G retailer can enter the baked goods market at a low entry-level dollar value,” says Van Beek. “However, it’s extremely important that you never, ever offer stale product as you will not be able to recover from that loss of trust.”