Final Proof: The rise of take-and-bake
October 4, 2023
By Jane Dummer, RD
Convenient, high quality and flexible, these products can reshape your customer’s experience
Consumers are craving at-home options and ways to recreate restaurant experiences without the increasing costs associated with dining out. Bakeries and retailers are offering consumers a similar sensory experience of the restaurant or bakery at home with take-and-bake options of breads and baked goods. These parbaked items have an artisan appeal while meeting demand for convenience. From delivery models and retail to bakery chains and kiosks, take-and-bake is reshaping the consumer experience with convenient, high-quality and flexible offerings.
Alice Couderc and Lucas Navilloz, co-founders of Peak Bakery based in Vancouver, agree: “The consumer trend of take-and-bake breads and baked goods has been a driving force behind our business model at Peak Bakery. As consumers increasingly seek convenient yet high-quality food options, we recognized an opportunity to offer a solution that aligns with this trend. Flexibility is a key feature; consumers can enjoy their favourite bakery items at their own pace, aligning with busy schedules and varied dining preferences.”
Aspire Bakeries brand La Brea Bakery offers Take & Bake breads packaged ready to thaw and sell. These products are perfect for spur-of-the-moment at-home dinner plans. Each of the bake-at-home breads has detailed “how to bake” instructions. This ensures all consumers can enjoy hot hearth-baked bread, fresh from their ovens within minutes at home. Retailer Longo’s offers its private-label Bake Your Own Butter Croissants. The frozen croissants go directly into the home oven (no thaw time) and come out flaky, buttery, and deliciously authentic with the bonus of the home kitchen smelling like a Parisian bakery.
Bakery chain COBS Bread offers parbaked pizza bases (two to a package) giving consumers a restaurant experience at home. Alannah Villella, senior marketing manager, retail and brand experience, explains: “We’re always looking for new and exciting ways to give our customers the freshest bread and baked products. The pizza bases are made using our Turkish dough which gives a golden exterior and light, airy crust. They are preservative-free and made with thoughtfully sourced ingredients. The pizza bases are parbaked in the COBS Bread ovens first. We do the heavy lifting, while the consumer adds their favourite ingredients, cooks it for eight to 10 minutes in their oven, then they enjoy a deliciously hot pizza just the way their preferred recipe calls for it.”
What about when consumers are out but don’t have time for the in-dining occasion? Colleen Cross, editor of Canadian Pizza magazine, says: “Canadian company PizzaForno in 2022 added take-and-bake pizzas to its existing vending machines that bake thin-crust pizza in three minutes. The take-n-bake option skips the baking step and allows customers to take home a ready-to-cook pizza. The kiosk can be found adjacent to restaurants and convenience stores, and within food courts and gas stations.”
Peak Bakery delivers ready-to-bake boxes of sourdough bread and pastries directly to customers’ doors. Couderc and Navilloz describe their service: “We freeze the proofed dough to ensure its freshness, which allows customers to bake our artisanal-quality bread and pastries at their convenience. To better serve and meet our customers’ evolving preferences, in early 2023 we moved from a pick-up model to a delivery model, with bigger box sizes. Now, we reach urban and remote consumers across British Columbia. The Discovery box is the most popular with various sourdough baguette types, a whole-wheat loaf, a brioche, a baguette viennoise and Liege Waffles. Ideal for different tastes and life situations.”
Peak Bakery provides a 15 per cent rebate for the subscription model with choice of delivery options. With subscription, the Discovery box is at $99.45, delivery included, plus a free Peak Pan. For a one-time purchase, the Discovery box is at $117 including delivery, excluding the pan.
Finally, take-and-bake can reduce food waste, with customers preparing only what they need at home. It’s exciting to see the numerous opportunities for this growing category offering ready-to-bake products of exceptional quality for consumers wanting to re-create flexible restaurant and bakery experiences, and, ultimately, putting the customer in control.
Jane Dummer, RD, known as the Pod to Plate Food Consultant, collaborates and partners with the food and nutrition industry across North America. janedummer.com
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