Cakes and Softbakes Post Covid Trends & Strategies Part 4

In the previous articles, we have discussed the many challenges bought on by COVID in the world and how it specifically affected the baking sector. The quarantine regulations coupled with the fear of infection have confined most of the public to the safety of their houses. This has caused a massive shortage of customers that usually walk into shops, malls, restaurants, and bakeries; many businesses have been shut down, sold, or went bankrupt because of the lack of sales.

 The pandemic has given rise to new procedures and trends within the baking sector; people’s tastes and demands have changed along with the baker’s methods to deal with them. We have listed six such new trends that bakers and companies adopted to regain their lost market shares. 

Ancient Grains

Ancient grains are a variety of grains that have remained unaltered for hundreds of years; they include millet, barley, teff, oats, sorghum, and buckwheat, among others. These grains do not undergo thorough refining processes (where the bran and germ are stripped, leaving only the endosperm) or genetic modification, which usually strips most of the nutrients in grains in exchange for visual appearance and versatility.

 Because of this, ancient grains are untainted by technology, and they retain their natural nutritional value. Compared to modern hybridized versions or refined white flour or rice, they are richer in protein, fatty acids, vitamins, and fiber. 

A Few Popular Varieties Of Ancient Grains 

  • Einkorn
  • Emmer
  • Khorasan wheat
  • Farro
  • Teff
  • Millet
  • Amaranth
  • Spelt
  • Quinoa
  • Sorghum

Bite-Sized Snacks

Customers have always enjoyed tasty bite-sized treats that don’t drip out the sides while eating. Even during the lockdowns, sales of baked snacks have only gone up because of the customer’s quarantine cravings and the creativity of the bakers to make their treats more appealing indirectly.

Since cakes are selling that well, the new trend has been to cut them down to bite-sized pieces similar to cupcakes but with all the complex flavors of multi-layered cake.

Here Is A List Of A Few Bite-Sized Baked Snacks Currently In Trend 
  • Nutella Strawberry Sandwich Cookies
  • Miniature Almond Tarts
  • Blackberry Stout Mini Pies with Beer Whipped Cream
  • Red Velvet Cake Bites
  • Miniature Pumpkin Cake Towers
  • Mini Lemon Thyme and Blueberry Cheesecakes
  • Mini No-Bake White Chocolate Raspberry PieMini French Silk Pies
  • Miniature Christmas Fruitcakes
  • Buckeye Marshmallows
  • Mini Brownie Bites with Salted Dulce de Leche

SKU Optimization

The chaos caused by the pandemic has revealed a chink in the armor of bakery logistics, especially the supply chains. SKUs (stock-keeping unit) are bar codes that you typically see labeled on products. These bar codes help the companies and suppliers keep track of their products worldwide.

During COVID, customers have changed their buying patterns from regular day to day shopping to buy in bulk one-way trips. This has put enormous stress on the supply chains of companies leading to empty shelves in stores. The baking industry has responded by optimizing the SKUs, keeping the process simple and easy at the same time very efficient.

Companies have adopted machine learning into their supply chains to efficiently study and track the SKUs, helping them react faster to manage the spikes in demand. This helps identify the best-selling products in a particular market, providing a clear overhead picture to inventory managers.

Healthy Well-Trained Workforce

Health is now the number one thing on people’s minds right now, apart from the financials of courses. Most of the workforce in the baking business has been crippled. Still, they have responded by educating their employees, putting them through training courses, introducing new equipment and procedures that can ensure safety and hygiene to the employees as well as the customers. Employees at every stage of the production process will have the proper precautions like hair nets, gloves, masks, and sanitation stations. Health and basic training policies have been reviewed and updated to ensure a productive, safer workplace environment.

New Ways to Showcase: 360 Degrees

No matter the situation outside, the wedding industry keeps on limping ahead; thousands of couples get married each day. A beautiful wedding cake is the centerpiece of such a function apart from the bride, of course. The professional cake industry has been taken aback by the sudden decrease of large-scale public events, but most businesses are adapting and changing their tactics to retain their customer base. Since physically inspecting the cake designs is a little inconvenient now, businesses have started to put more effort into digital media like Instagram for marketing.

 Some professional business and home bakers have taken it a bit further by integrated 360-degree photos of multi-tier weddings and other products to awe the customers. This has also worked well for selecting venues and conducting virtual tours. It’s very simple to make a 360° photo; you just have to take regular photos and stitch them together with software, Or there are countless apps out there that do it for you in minutes.

References

 SF&WB

Country Cleaver

British Baker

Lifespan

Neal Analytics

Taste Of Home

Bake

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