Who doesn’t love warm, fresh-baked bread? Or, a perfectly moist cake? Bakery items are the ultimate comfort food, whether it be sweet cakes, pies, savory bagels or fresh-baked bread, we all can agree that baked goods make us feel a little bit better after a long day. To give us all that comfort we crave, bakery brands are baking up more offerings in various styles, with more nutritional benefits than ever before.
But, before you go baking away, it’s important to understand some key consumer trends, and package considerations to make sure your product succeeds.
Consumer Trends in the Baked Goods Industry
As consumers shop for baked goods, there are two important trends that influence their purchase decisions. One is their desire for healthier options, be it gluten-free, low-carb, low-sugar or organic. The other appears to be somewhat the opposite, and that is their desire to indulge, with decadent, premium ingredients in small-batch, or artisan varieties. Either way, consumers know what they want and are usually willing to pay a premium price if they feel that the item satisfies one (or both) of these desires.
And satisfy they will, because there is plenty to choose from, from the household name brands to the local bakery or private label, consumers can easily find what they need (or want). What’s really unique to this industry is the influx of small and local bakeries offering up some great options to compete with the big names. According to the American Bakers Association, the U.S. bakery business is highly fragmented, made up of almost 3,000 independent bakeries (65% of which have less than 10 employees) that bring in annual revenue of $30 million. Another 6,000 retail bakeries bring in an additional $3 billion, with 50 of the largest companies generating 75% of this revenue. With so many small to medium-sized businesses in the sector, it’s important for these brands to create a product that will stand out from the competition, in packaging to match.
If you’re a new-to-market bakery brand or a seasoned veteran of the industry, then you know the importance of staying on top of the ever-changing trends in product and packaging. Your success depends on staying top of mind for consumers as they search for healthy, comforting and indulgent baked goods to fit their lifestyles.
Bakery Product Packaging Speaks
Packagers are constantly creating bakery items to meet the variety of dietary restrictions and plans that consumers are following. From gluten-free to preservative-free, organic, and other trends like Paleo Diet, and Ketogenic, consumers are looking for specific products to fit their dietary needs. As the package is the first thing that the consumer sees and interacts with, it’s key that it relays all the pertinent messaging straightaway.
To aid in this, consider using very descriptive language so consumers feel enticed (and informed) by your brand. For example, consider using “whole-grain, fresh-baked sesame loaf” instead of merely “sesame bread.” If it’s a low-carb, or gluten-free offering, be sure that this language is clearly depicted so consumers can quickly see that this is the item for them. Call out any allergy information, dietary compliance, and other key differentiators so that you take the guesswork out of grocery shopping for today’s busy consumer.
Show Me the Muffin: The Power of a Package Window
Sometimes it’s what the package says, and sometimes it’s what the package doesn’t say, but rather shows, because, what really pulls consumers in when choosing a bakery item or baked good product? It’s all about appearances!
Does your item look good, like really good? Does it look fresh, soft, savory, sweet? If so, make sure your package shows off the items inside, with a large clear window to lure consumers in. Since consumers cannot smell and taste the product, it’s important that the package allows for the product to be front and center.
The package itself should also tell a strong brand story, including enticing product description, high-impact graphics, and branding. They say we eat with our eyes first, and that is so true when it comes to baked items, so give consumers something to feast on.
The Right Films Deliver Freshness
The best bakery item goes far beyond an appealing design, or appetizing product. The right package must protect the product inside, keeping the bread, muffin, cake, or roll at its peak freshness for consumer use.
How? Moisture and oxygen threaten the product’s freshness, and when present can cause the product to become stale, or even moldy. Because of this, the packaging must work to retain moisture and texture, and allow for extended shelf life. To aid in this, a high-quality seal is imperative, keeping air out.
In addition to the bag working to keep the baked item fresh, the use of an oxygen absorber inside the bag is also key to a package’s success, as is high-barrier films to ensure product freshness. Fresher product means happier customers and longer shelf life for both manufacturers and consumers, resulting in less waste. This can go a long way in building brand loyalty, too!
An optimum bakery package should keep the product fresh, for an extended period of time, and convey key messaging so consumers can easily pick which product is right for them. The right package keeps air out and flavor in, all while showcasing the baked deliciousness inside.
Finding The Right Baked Good Flexible Packaging Partner
Are you looking for a partner to help you develop the flexible packaging for your baked goods? At ePac, we work alongside you to develop a winning package that will keep your product fresh and draw consumer attention, all delivered to you quickly, with digital printing. Digital printing allows you the convenience of low minimum orders, a fast turnaround, and superior graphics to get your baked goods onto store shelves and into consumers’ carts. Contact us today to see if we’re a good fit for your needs.