E-commerce is propelling the pastry industry in new directions

Industry innovations and consumer acceptance of new technologies are increasing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One area that has seen dramatic changes is online, with one market researcher claiming the pandemic has pushed e-commerce in five years.

Sales figures recorded by retailers such as Walmart Inc., Target Corp. and Amazon.com, Inc. during the year tell a dramatic story. Walmart’s e-commerce sales grew 97% in the second quarter of fiscal 2020, with shoppers shifting from store visits to delivery and click-and-collect. The results of Target Corp. in the second quarter were equally remarkable. Digital comparable store sales climbed nearly 200% in the quarter. Breaking down digital sales by channel mix, same-day services grew 279% in price, drive-up increased by 734%, and sales made by the retailer’s Shipt service increased by more than 350%. %.

E-commerce accounted for 16% of total retail sales of $ 1.3 trillion during the period. For context, in the first quarter of 2020, e-commerce accounted for 12% of total retail sales and 11% of retail sales in the second quarter of 2019.

“We’ve probably jumped five years into the future in a very short period of time,” said David Portalatin, vice president and industry advisor for The NPD Group, Inc., at the Trends and Innovations virtual event hosted by Sosland Publishing’s Food Economic News. “A lot of things that we were talking about before really stepped up and got sharp. The future is really now in terms of how we are going to market differently both in stores and in ecommerce, truly the omnichannel concept of the future.

Practical applications

For retailers, the digital age offers new opportunities. For example, Chicago staple The Goddess and Grocer now offers its famous creations by pastry chef Alysha Boze to customers across the United States with shipping and delivery from Goldbelly.

Free delivery is currently available for all cakes, cookies and cupcakes from specialty grocery stores and cafes, including:

  • The Goddess Rainbow Cake – A six-layer rainbow cake with vanilla buttercream frosting and rainbow sprinkles
  • The Goddess Carrot Cake – A spicy carrot cake with grated carrots, nuts, pineapple, raisins, and cream cheese frosting
  • Assorted Cupcakes – Choice of vanilla or chocolate cupcakes topped with a choice of vanilla or chocolate buttercream frosting
  • Oreo Cake – Chocolate cake filled with dark chocolate fudge and Oreo pieces, topped with cookies and creamy buttercream, and topped with chocolate ganache and other Oreo cookie pieces
  • Red Velvet Cake – Traditional southern style red velvet cake topped with cream cheese frosting

Plus, popular cookie decorating kits include buttery shortbread cookies with colorful vanilla frosting ready to be piped into piping bags, and nuggets, with a choice of primary or pastel colors.

The Goddess and Grocer currently has three locations in Chicago, as well as one inside O’Hare Airport.

What consumers want

The Food Group, a full-service food and beverage marketing agency, reports how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the hospitality industry, from independent restaurants to national chains and the future of restaurant operations.

In the new tfgTOUCHPOINTS white paper, Special Edition: What Commercial Foodservice Operators Want in the Age of COVID-19, The Food Group presents from the inside how commercial foodservice operators have been affected by COVID -19 and how they adapt to it. Additionally, the report provides takeaways and tips on how food and beverage manufacturers can help operators succeed in an uncertain and new era in the hospitality industry.

The following results provide insight into how COVID-19 is reshaping the hospitality industry:

COVID-19 has forced operational changes that will forever alter the way people eat in restaurants. In addition to reducing staff positions (56%) and reducing menus (58%), operators are doing their best to make customers feel safe by eliminating self-service and buffets and switching to items. disposables and portion-controlled condiments.

Technology has become essential to day-to-day operations and profitability. Social media has become an essential vehicle for providing restaurant updates and promoting special offers. The pandemic has also accelerated the adoption of new technologies for many operators, such as pickup and delivery systems and virtual events for training, education and networking.

Foodservice operators want and need content that helps them solve their business problems.

This “new normal” has forced operators to change their priorities. Providing benefits such as shelf stability, reduced prep time, offering products that have multiple applications in a menu, and creating streamlined equipment are just a few of the ways foodservice manufacturers can help operators. to operate more efficiently.

eSlice of joy

Large bakeries understand the power of the digital market.

The Cheesecake Factory recently shared twice the joy by giving away two eSlice of Joy cards for every $ 25 of gift cards or e-gift cards purchased online during the holidays.

Each eSlice of Joy card is redeemable for a free slice of The Cheesecake Factory’s legendary cheesecake from January 1, 2021 to March 31, 2021. With over 250 menu selections – handmade, on-site with fresh ingredients – and over 30 world famous cheesecake varieties, this special offer is sure to please even the hardest-to-buy on your gift list. Gift cards and eSlice of Joy cards are redeemable when you dine there and when you order for pickup or curbside take out order.thecheesecakefactory.com.

“We wanted to take some of the stress out of last minute shopping by sharing some extra joy with our popular online Double eSlice of Joy gift card promotion,” said David Overton, Founder and CEO of The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated. “This is one of our customers’ favorite promotions and we are happy to offer it online until Christmas this year. “

Artisanal cake specialties

Bisous Bisous Pâtisserie is busy creating seasonal delicacies such as decorated cakes and decadent desserts. Founded in 2015 by Andrea Meyer, “Pastry Chef of the Year 2019 of the CultureMap TasteMaker Award”, Bisous Bisous Pâtisserie specializes in a wide variety of French-style pastries and cakes prepared daily from the best ingredients, including its macaroons French, its cruffins. , croissants, pies, éclairs and custom cakes.

Bisous Bisous also offers cooking classes, mobile selling opportunities with its Rendezvous food truck, and offsite wholesale cooking. Bisous Bisous was named Best Bakery 2020 by Dallas Observer.

All of Kisses’s delicious treats are available to order in advance online at www.bisous-bisous.com and calling ahead for a contactless curbside pickup. The store is open for business, limited to one healthy person at a time. The reduced opening hours of Bisous are Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Bisous’s handcrafted cakes make a beautiful centerpiece and taste as good as they look. Examples of holiday desserts par excellence such as Bûche De Noël, French for Yule log, available in caramel caramel and hazelnut chocolate.

Whole cakes available for pre-order for $ 52.50 and individual slices available daily in store for $ 7. Other adorable cakes include Gingerbread Gumdrop, Melted Snowman, Chocolate Peppermint, and Christmas Sweater starting at $ 45.

Vegan pastry

Vegan cake baking is on the rise as consumers search for their baked goods more than ever. They want their cakes and pies to be delicious and better for their health and that of the planet.

With Veganuary here, WGSN, the global trend forecasting company, announces the publication of new research on the growth of interest in vegan bakery products based on its proprietary WGSN Trend Curve methodology that includes data from a personalized social media influencer card and online retail.

The buzz for #veganbaking on social media has jumped 35% in the past year while #baking alone has grown 12% relatively lukewarm considering the joy and talents consumers have discovered and shared on social media while cooking at home during coronavirus-induced lockdowns, research reveals.

Thanks to innovations in ingredients, including the advent of chicken-free eggs and plant-based alternatives to butter and milk, vegan baked goods, once considered less than traditional products, are now being adopted by eaters of the world. whole world with even more enthusiasm than that for their “real” equivalents.

“I attribute the vegan cooking trend to an unprecedented concern for personal health, animal welfare and environmental resources,” says Kara Nielsen, director of WGSN Food & Drink. “Like so many consumers, those on flexitarian and vegan diets are still craving sugary treats, comfort food and festive pastries, making this the perfect time for food manufacturers to invest in developing more. of ingredients, mixtures and finished products. “

The WGSN Trend Curve methodology combines data science, analytics, and human ingenuity to provide valuable visualization of growing trends and how they should be leveraged for new product development. The work is done in partnership with the data-driven sister brands Edge by Ascential and Yimian by Ascential.

Vegan baked goods revealed by WGSN Trend Curve research include an increase in creative banana breads, gooey chocolate brownies made with vegetable butter, and buttercream made with aquafaba. The recipe influencers and the amateur bakers who follow them bake birthday cakes, fruit pies, cupcakes, lots of cookies, and cookie balls. Seasonal desserts and cheesecakes without cheese are also common.