Concepts for Success: July 2015

eye-catching in-store merchandising
Diane Chiasson
June 25, 2015
Written by Diane Chiasson
Package and display your delicious baked goods properly to help boost sales


You have wonderful baked goods and your customers love them. What should you do next?

The next steps, of course, are display and packaging. Why are these so important? No matter how good your cookies, cakes, pies or chocolates are, if they don’t look beautiful and fresh at your counter, your customers won’t buy them! You have to make sure that your product is presented and packaged in an appetizing manner, which entices the customer and reinforces your bakery’s image.

This is the fine art of bringing your products to life through eye-catching food merchandising, where the vision of freshness, colour, quality and quantity is key to any bakery’s success. Your choice of selections, presentations and displays, hand chosen props, appropriate lighting, pleasing packaging, signage that sells, customer service, and selling are also part of this strategic process. Proper and well-thought-out in-store merchandising can increase your sales significantly.

So what does it take? Consider the following tips for creating eye-catching and mouthwatering bakery merchandising displays.

Evaluate your Space
Before beginning any merchandising project, you must look at the space itself to determine the room you have to work with, giving special consideration to the fixtures that cannot be moved. For instance, when creating a display consider what you intend to do with the top, the sides and the floor area, while assessing impact on traffic flow, lighting available to enhance the display and the proximity of workstations.

Determine the Message You Want to Send
Each fresh food display should have a theme, a product that you want to focus upon, or a specific message that you want to convey. The message is integral to the display and must take centre stage, not being diluted by superfluous decorations. Your primary message should be loud and clear. You should have a plan, a focus, a forecast and a vision.

Consider the Focal Point
Every display should have a main focal point to attract attention. Decide how you will achieve this. It should be noted that items grouped together (i.e. sandwiches and soups) enhance the sales of both items, and ultimately you sell more.

Build up a Display
It may be best to start by making a small sketch of what you intend to do, and cross-reference that sketch with the fresh food items and baked goods you have available. Then, build in layers by starting construction with the display items that will be used in the back first. Raise specific items by using cardboard boxes, small crates or fruit baskets turned upside down. Do not wait until the project is completed to ensure it is taking shape as hoped. If you wait until it is completed, you may have to take additional time to tear the display down and start again from scratch, so do a mid-point assessment as you develop your display.

Bag it, Box it, Tin it, Jar it!
You have to make sure that your product is packaged in an appetizing manner. Distinctive boxes, decorative tins, environmentally friendly bags, plain inexpensive white “bakery” boxes, and classic glass jars are but a few examples of the types of packaging available to you, but all should have one thing in common – your name and logo printed clearly on a label, gift card or ribbon on the outside.

Remember, many environmentally conscious consumers are drawn to products by natural looking packaging. If this type of packaging fits the character of your bakery, use plain brown bags, corrugated cardboard cartons or regular brown cardboard boxes wrapped with coarse twine, raffia and dried flowers sealed with your bakery’s adhesive logo to catch their eye. Your packaging should be so appealing that customers keep your bags and boxes for other uses, which will add lasting value to your product as well as serve as an invaluable advertising reminder.

Sampling Sells!
The ultimate selling tool available to you is product sampling. Set up an attractive sampling plate complete with the product description and price so that your customers know exactly what they are buying.

Not one of your customers will be able to resist this final temptation as they leave! 


Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping restaurant, foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 30 years. She is recognized as one of the best restaurant consultants in North America. Her company provides innovative and revenue-increasing foodservice and retail merchandising programs, interior design, branding, menu engineering, marketing and promotional campaigns, and much more. Contact her at 416-926-1338, toll-free at 1-888-926-6655 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or visit www.chiassonconsultants.com.

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