Do you own a bakery or you bake from home and you want to sell to coffee shops? If YES, here are 20 smart tips on how to sell baked goods to coffee stores. According to reports, the U.S. bakery industry includes more than 2,800 commercial bakeries with combined annual revenue of about $30 billion, along with about 6,700 retail bakeries with annual revenue of about $3 billion. With the growth of the industry and revenue opportunities, the need for bakeries to set themselves apart with market specialization is becoming very huge.

However, one of the biggest advantages bakeries have over other food-centric businesses is their unique ability to market their products. Profitability for individual companies is determined not only by the efficiency of operations, but marketing efforts as well. Bakeries are known to make a certain amount of profit per item sold. In many bakeries, the revenue from beverages, including coffee, tea, juice, and other specialty drinks, is even greater than the profit from baked goods themselves.

According to reports, individual baked goods generally range from $2.00 to $5.00, depending on the cost of ingredients and also the demographic where your shop is located. Generally, the cost of labour and ingredients should be around 30-50% of the final sale cost. This means a treat that costs $1.50 to make could sell for anywhere from $3.00 to $4.50.

In this business, you could decide to start a small bakery operation out of your home, taking orders online from members of your local community, and choose to never expand beyond that. Or, if you are a bit more ambitious, investing in a storefront, hiring a team of employees, and serving a clientele base that includes coffee stores. Below are tips to help increase sales for your baked goods.

20 Smart Tips on How to Sell Baked Goods to Coffee Shops

  1. Offer Up Free Samples

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

  1. Have a Clear Finance Sheet

Note that having proper bakers insurance in place is one way you can keep your ovens hot, earn the trust of your clients, and get the cash registers overflowing. The bakeries that plan and prepare for emergencies are the ones that are always prepared and can move on to further expansion.

Howbeit, budget your restaurant operations carefully. Maintain a detailed expense sheet about how much goes into maintenance, buying of raw materials and paying your staff every month. Once you have your total monthly expenditure, then you can calculate your profit margin and invest the extra profit made, back into your bakery business.

  1. Offer nutrition information for your products

Since patrons are becoming more and more health conscious, it’s 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 at places where they eat away from the home.

  1. Diversity Attracts

Consider bringing out innovative bakery items and it will be a sure thing to attract customers. You can innovate not only with the items but also with the format of your store. For example, mobile dessert food trucks have become popular in many cities.

It is also seen that coffee stores often contract with bakers to provide catering services. Catering for cakes and burgers is a great way to come into the limelight as well. Dreaming big is always good, but make sure that you dream of the things that you are capable of achieving.

Hence, when diversifying, make sure to assess your capabilities, workflow management, and the costs associated with expanding your bakery business. A steady expansion is more sustainable than a rapid rise, and the former is expected to have a more significant impact on the healthy growth of your bakery business.

  1. Have healthier options available

Have it in mind that customers are becoming more and more interested in healthier options. Plenty of chain coffee 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.

  1. 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.

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.

  1. Strike Up a Conversation or Hold a Survey

When you’re not sure what these coffee 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, cup of coffee or 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. Establish a Social Media Following

Indeed, social media is an ideal way to attract attention and also boost your brand. Hence, make sure that you have created business pages on social media and update and optimize them on a regular basis. Regularly post photos and videos that will reflect the happenings of your restaurant. You can even receive reviews and feedbacks from these pages that will help you to hone your operations.

Have it in mind that investing money on a great cause will help your bakery expand its reach to targeted groups of people and create connection with other established companies. Whatever cause you support, you can find an event or group that’s for it.

If you’re looking for a good cause to support, why not start by analyzing your audience? What causes are they supporting and how can you help out? For example, you could sponsor a local school event and hand out fliers to all the parents.

  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. You can also let your coffee store clients choose the portion sizes and flavours they want.

  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 coffee 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 websites as well.

  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 doesn’t specialize in high-protein goods, don’t worry—this trend isn’t 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. Leverage Technology to Manage Your Bakery Operations

A major challenge of doing business with coffee stores is ensuring a consistent service of fresh baked goods. Indeed, there would be times when you would not be able to sell off all the items produced in a day, which are good enough to be still sold the next day. Keeping track of the items which are fresh and which are stale or expired becomes a task.

You can make use of technology to solve this problem. Use an integrated Inventory Management System that allows you to manage the Shelf Life of each item. You can assign the expiration date for each item in the POS that will enable you to sell only the products that are still good to be sold.

  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 coffee store offering locally sourced ingredients influenced their choice in which businesses to frequent.

  1. Network with other Local Businesses

Your bakery business must enter into collaborations with all the local businesses in the vicinity, especially coffee stores and grocery stores. This will help you to increase your sales further.

For example, during birthdays people tend to deliver their loved ones cake and flowers as a surprise if they are not in the same city. This will make your bakery business a one-stop point of contact for all those who want to surprise their loved one with some extra indulgence.

  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. 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’s 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 doesn’t cost much but adds tremendous value to your current offerings – a coupon, free slice or extra sample?

  1. Try to Stand Out in the Vicinity

Consider bringing specific innovation into your bakery business which is not present in your vicinity. This will keep you ahead of your competitors. Consider offering gluten-free options or becoming the only nut-free bakery in your area.

If your bakery business is the only one providing a doughnut and coffee combo, then it is a sure thing that you would attract customers. Howbeit, do market research, try and analyze the trends that are yet not exploited to the fullest and then bring about changes accordingly.

  1. Sell Custom Merchandise

Have it in mind that consumers love to support their favourite local stores, shops and restaurants, so give your clients a chance to enjoy that with custom-branded merchandise. As a bakery, there’s a ton of options, such as a wood cutting board, branded oven mitts or even a bag of custom-made mixing ingredients. Of course, you can always offer the standard shirts, hats and aprons as well.

  1. Pay attention to packaging

Artisanal packaging is becoming very popular, and it’s a great way to make your products stand out from the crowd. Not only will unique packaging make your products memorable, but packaging has been found to be one of the most important aspects when it comes to a customer’s decision to buy a product.

Note that having beautiful packaging adds an authentic human touch that consumers’ love, as it sets handmade, local products apart from mass-produced generic offerings. Artisanal packaging is an extension of your bakery’s branding and deserves plenty of attention.

The bakery business is a competitive industry that offers a good chance of financial success to those who can consistently provide their customers with quality products, and who are able to develop their business in a smart way. Consider the above tips extensively, and enjoy great success supplying to coffee stores around and outside your business zone.

Solomon. O'Chucks