When starting out in the bake-off category, it's important not to run before you can walk. By selecting a basic range and then adding products as you and your staff gain confidence, you can create a portfolio of popular lines that you know will fly off the shelves. Products such as sausage rolls, Cornish and cheese & onion pasties are always good starters.
Baking little and often is the best approach, according to Cuisine de France's marketing director David Girdler. "Today's lifestyles often mean people will choose to pop into a c-store for something to eat for breakfast or lunch, or for a late snack. So, with bake-off products, availability beyond 4pm is key."
Cuisine de France has recently added a number of new pasties as well as a premium sausage roll with chutney to its range, since the launch of the new 'Cuisine to Go' concept. Pre-filled paninis are also available as well as regional products from Scotland and Cornwall. The company says its new bread stands are proving popular with retailers.
Elsewhere, rival manufacturer Country Choice is constantly updating its product range. Recent sweet additions include a double chocolate bun, which joins the company's top-selling traditional Belgian bun and comes in packs of four, which can simply be thawed and sold.
The company's savoury range has also been boosted with the launch of a cottage pie, delivered frozen in packs of 36 and ready to bake in
20-25 minutes. Other developments in the company's portfolio include the lamb oggee, a Welsh-style savoury that combines lamb with carrots, swedes, leeks, peas, onions and a mint seasoning.
Bakehouse has also been busy developing new lines. Already proving popular are the cheese & wild garlic twists which are supplied frozen in cases of 40. Marketing director Kate Raison says: "The continuing growth in flexi-eating and the escalation of 'sandwich fatigue' has given rise to increased opportunities for retailers, with consumers looking for more interesting, high quality savoury products to eat on the move or at their desks. The twists offer a quick and easy route to profit." A sweet honey nut twist has also been added to the Bakehouse portfolio recently, as has a toffee nut croquante and a sultana granola slice.
If you're looking for something a bit different, Zorbas Fine Foods offers a tantalising range of sweet and savoury bake-off pastries. The products are supplied frozen in catering packs with a storage life of six months. Savoury fillings include halloumi and feta cheeses while sweet pastries include custards and chocolate-filled pastries. Once baked-off they can be eaten hot or cold. Zorbas say the products will increase turnover by complementing the standard bake-off range, giving current customers more choice and attracting new customers as well.
Ingredients supplier Kluman & Balter can even help create a look that's unique to your store. The company supplies decorations and glazes which can be added to sweet pastries, while frozen bread can be dressed with seeds to pep up and personalise loaves. A wide choice of seeds including sunflower, pumpkin, sesame and blue poppy are available.
Managing director Danny Kluman explains: "Adding extras to the standard bake-off product won't only make it more appealing to the customer, but it also adds value, which of course means that you can charge a slightly more premium price."
76% of shoppers think that an in-store bakery improves the appeal of a store.
In-store bakery shoppers spend a third more than the average c-store shopper.
The most common products purchased alongside bakery goods are soft drinks (41%), bread (28%) and grocery (28%).
Shoppers are prepared to pay on average 43% more for fresh products baked in-store.
Bake-off shoppers typically have more items in their baskets - 4.1 compared with 2.9.
Source: HIM Convenience Tracking Programme