Do you own a bakery or you bake from home and you want to sell to retail shops? If YES, here are 20 smart tips on how to get your baked goods into stores. Getting your baked goods into store shelves is a wonderful way to boost your brand reach and connect with new customers. While you can sell your products through farmers markets and online platforms, you can get a much broader range of customers from collaboration with a pre – established retailer.

By collaborating with a pre – established retailer, you not only access a brand-new audience, but you also give that audience something tangible to look at when they’re deciding what to buy. A physical package on a shelf helps to confirm that your company is trustworthy, reliable and capable of high quality.

In this industry, demand for baked goods is driven by consumer preferences and by the extent to which stores choose to sample the products. Profitability for individual companies is determined not only by the efficiency of operations, but marketing efforts as well.

There are two ways to get your baked goods into stores. Either you go through the exhausting process of approaching every store and hoping for the best, or you can work with a good distributor. Since most stores will only work with a handful of suppliers, a distributor can significantly improve your chances of success. Howbeit, here are a few tips on how to get your product on store shelves.

20 Tips on How to Get your Baked Goods into Retail Stores

  1. Perform your Market Research

Note that market research is a very necessary component of launching a successful business. When you first started your company, you probably took some time to look into your competitors and find out what your target audience wanted most.

Now that you are ready to expand to store shelves, start by visiting as many local retailers as possible. If you can, talk to the buyers about what they look for in the products they sell at their stores, and what their business terms are. You could even consider a market audit to get a deeper insight into the space you want to sell in.

2. Give out Free Samples

Not just people, businesses also love free stuff, there is no doubt about that. Consider offering your store clients what they want by giving out some free samples. When they have something to try before they buy, they are much more apt to purchase the item. Who knows, they may even try something that they just can’t refuse and buy the whole thing.

3. Have your Brand Image

With the right information from your detailed research, you can create a professional-looking and attention – grabbing packaging to make your items stand out on store shelves.

Have it in mind that packaging sometimes can sell your product a lot better than anything else. Working with an experienced designer can help you to give your customers, and Grocery Store buyers the right impression. Make sure you think about all the aspects of your brand image.

4. Offer Nutrition Information for Your Products

Since patrons are becoming more and more health conscious, it is a smart move to consider providing nutrition information for your breads, pastries, and sweets. Reports have it that over 61 percent of U.S. adults use nutrition labels to help manage their weight, and 38 percent say that labelling products would help them do this more effectively.

Additionally, many consumers underestimate the calorie and fat content in foods and attest that they would like to see more nutrition labelling when they eat away from the home.

5. Contact Distributors

Reach out to your food distributors and set up an appointment so you can show them your product. Always ensure that samples are available for people to test when they arrive at your meeting.

During this conversation, you will be able to discuss why your product should be stocked on grocery shelves, and what you can offer potential partners. Remember to listen to your distributor’s feedback carefully, as they can give some great tips on how to grow your business.

6. Have Healthier Options Available

Have it in mind that customers are becoming more and more interested in the availability of healthier options. Plenty of chain stores and restaurants are seeing increases in sales due to their inclusion of healthier options, and one study found a 28 percent increase in sales when foods were labelled as having healthy ingredients or properties, such as being low – sodium.

Note, however, that “healthy options” doesn’t just have to mean low – calorie. Consider offering a wide variety of options, such as low – carbohydrate, high protein, all natural ingredients, and so on, depending on your target market’s preferences.

7. Get a Website

To have a legitimate online presence, it is very crucial for your bakery business to have its website. Have it in mind that a well optimized and well – designed website as per the SEO norms will help people searching for bakery products find your bakery easily.

Once your bakery business becomes easily accessible to all your customers, it will automatically help you to boost your sales. Optimizing your website to make it SEO friendly is not an easy task, and hence it is recommended that you get some professional help for this.

8. Approach Stores

Immediately you have got your distributors on – side, you will be ready to start speaking to store buyers. Most will want to carry your product on “consignment.” This means that they pay you only after the product has been sold. Obviously, this means that you are going to need to invest before you get a return. Consignment launches your product and gives you a way to test how well it performs in the market.

9. Strike Up a Conversation or Hold a Survey

When you are not certain of what these stores want from your bakery, strike up a conversation or hold a survey. Once you have the insight of your best customers, you can tailor services and products that meet the needs and desires of these businesses who are loyal patrons of your business.

You can incentivize your customers with a free loaf of bread, discount off their next order for their input. The value you receive from paying attention to what the customers want will help you create more tempting offerings that keep people coming back.

  1. Get the Right Partners

Note that getting your product on store shelves is difficult. The good news is that you don’t have to do it alone. There are plenty of experts and groups out there devoted to helping younger companies succeed. For instance, an account management team will help to negotiate trading terms with retailers. On the other hand, a label development group will help you to design and improve your private label.

  1. Establish a Social Media Following

Have it in mind that social media is an ideal way to attract and capture the attention of the crowd. Hence, make sure that you have created business pages on social media and update and optimize them on a regular basis. You can even receive reviews and feedbacks from these pages that will help you to hone the operations of your bakery business further.

12. Build Relationships

Although it may take a while for you to perfect your technique in getting your goods onto the shelves of your local 7 – Eleven and Circle K. Practice refining your system in other venues in the meantime, whether that is a farmer’s market, trade show or other retail specialty or grocery stores.

Note that to be competitive with other larger baked goods outfits, employ some of the techniques that they do: deeply discount cases of your product, develop a team of sales reps and offer cake samples to distribute at events.

  1. Feature Different Portion Sizes

The snacking trend is growing, and bakeries are set to play a huge role. Over 28 percent of cake and pie buyers say that they would be interested in individual portion sizes, and 20 percent say mini or bite – sized versions would encourage them to buy more. This provides consumers with built-in portion control, which is a growing trend.

  1. Integrate with Online Delivery Platforms

Considering that most of your customers would now like to order food than to go out and dine. Therefore, it becomes imperative for your bakery business to allow your customers to order online from your store. It also gives you negotiating power with your store clients.

Not only should your restaurant be visible on these online delivery platforms, make sure that people can order directly at your store through your own or customers website as well. This will reduce any scope for you on losing your potential clients.

  1. Practice Your Pitch

Once you have perfected your product, built a powerful team, and got to know your prospective store clients, you can create a pitch. Remember, your pitch should take place in person, not over the phone. This gives you a chance to show your passion and commitment. Additionally, it means that you can bring along some samples for your supermarket to try.

  1. Offer High – Protein Baked Goods

Bakeries offering high – protein baked goods—or even specializing exclusively in them—have become extremely popular. 26 percent of Americans say they have increased their protein intake in recent years, and 78 percent of Americans expressed interest in foods that kept them feeling fuller longer.

If your bakery does not specialize in high – protein goods, don’t worry—this trend is not just for new bakeries hoping to specialize. You can easily offer a few higher protein options (like a rotating selection of a few high – protein muffins, cookies, and so on) to complement your regular offerings.

  1. Focus on Locally – Sourced Ingredients

Local ingredients are very important to consumers; in fact, local products are quickly becoming more important than organic or “all natural” products. Reports have it that 62 percent of consumers try to purchase local products whenever possible, and 41 percent said that a  store offering locally sourced ingredients influenced their choice in which businesses to frequent.

  1. Offer Allergen – Free Products

Although sales of gluten – free products may have slowed, research shows that allergen – free baked goods are still in demand. Generally, sales of allergen – free products have risen steadily and continue to rise. Moreover, food allergies are on the rise as well, which means more and more people will be searching for allergen – free products.

Start by analyzing what is missing in your local community. Is there a lack of offerings for those who are allergic to nuts, eggs, dairy, and so on? Check out your competition and see what holes you can fill, or speak with your customers and find out what allergies they or their family members are dealing with.

  1. Offer Baker’s Dozen Discounts

Some of the best bakeries around town will throw in something extra when you buy a dozen. These places have perfected their sales technique. Think about this: “$5 for 13” doesn’t sound all that great, but “$5 for a dozen, plus you get an extra one for free” is a much more enticing deal. And it is the same offer, just worded better.

In this business, you need to find ways to add perceived value to your products that make the offering even better. What can you give away that does not cost much but adds tremendous value to your current offerings – a coupon, free slice or extra sample?

  1. Come Up with a Marketing Plan

Finally, have it in mind that when it comes to working with super stores, you need more than just a great product. You also need to let your retailer know how you are going to help drive customers towards their store. Take your time to bring your team together and think about your overall branding and marketing plan.

Ask yourself which channels you plan on using, from social media to content marketing. A fully – fleshed out plan for advertising will help to sell your product and your business.

Coupled with the above tips, never let your menu grow stale. Keep track of your best – selling items, and also take note of those that repeatedly fall short of your sales goals. By changing the menu to make sure every product is a winner, you will be sure to develop a steady stream of customers.

Solomon. O'Chucks