Nothing beats the smell of fresh-baked bread or cookies right out of the oven. These aromas naturally evoke happy thoughts and kick those hunger cues into high gear, two perfect things if you own a corner café or trying to leave your hotel guests with a pleasant memory of room service or their check-in experience.
Providing on-site baked goods, however, costs precious time and money. If you’re working with limited space or a tight budget, maintaining a fully-stocked kitchen and employing a pastry chef aren’t affordable options. At the same time, today’s health-conscious consumer won’t be interested in any of those off-the-shelf baked goods that contain more preservatives than a Kardashian.
Enter the frozen bakery products manufacturer.
Why Frozen Works so Well for Foodservice
Over the years, frozen food has gotten a bad rap, as it is often associated with cheap convenience items you need to heat in the microwave. Additionally, consumers still struggle with the idea that something frozen for six months to a year can deliver the same high-quality taste and nutritional value as something that just came out of the oven. The uproar a few years ago over Panera using pre-made frozen pastries and other baked goods in their store comes to mind.
The truth is quite the opposite. Blast-freezing dough, par-baked, and baked foods virtually stops any mold or bacteria growth, preserves freshness and taste, and retains nutritional value. This is why the frozen baked goods industry is exploding all over the globe. According to a 2021 MarketsandMarkets study, the segment was estimated to be a whopping $22.3 Billion in 2021. It’s expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 5.8 percent to $29.5 Billion by 2026.
So how do frozen baked goods help your bottom line? Our experts at Janey Lou’s Bakery Products, a premier artisan bakery serving the western United States, give you their top five reasons why your business may want to go frozen:
1. Less Labor/Overhead Cost
Perhaps the most significant benefit of investing in frozen bakery items comes from not having to do everything from scratch on-site. To make a quality product, you need appropriate staffing, equipment, space, and funds to do it right.
According to the National Restaurant Association, restaurants and cafés experienced a significant blow during the COVID pandemic, shuttering more than 100,000 drinking and dining establishments in 2020 alone. As it operates on a severely depleted profit margin, the foodservice industry is looking for cost savings everywhere. That includes keeping staff numbers and production costs low while still delivering quality menu items.
2. Saves You Prep Time
Have you ever made a batch of homemade pizza dough? You probably made a big batch, considering how long it took to make the dough, let it rise, knead it, rise again, and finally bake it.
If you’re Costco and you make hundreds of pizzas a day, spending a couple of extra hours preparing each batch of dough can quickly add up to thousands of work hours and a substantial cost. Even though the super chain has its own bakery, Costco operations leaders recognize that bringing in frozen pizza dough represents considerable cost savings without sacrificing product quality.
3. More Product Variety
Does your small café menu accommodate traditional, whole-grain, organic, and gluten-free bread options? How about several different types of muffins and cookies? Using a frozen bakery products manufacturer allows you to keep a wide variety of items in stock that you can thaw, bake or warm, and sell in a short time window.
Some bakeries, like Janey Lou’s, also offer business owners the opportunity to customize their signature recipes and baked offerings. Your grandmother had the absolute best ginger snap recipe? You can work with your baked goods provider to mass produce that cookie for your customers while retaining both the quality and consistency of your grandma’s recipe.
4. Provides Your Customers Convenience and Nutrition
Imagine your kitchen staff putting out a mouthwatering array of fresh, delicious breads and pastries that look like they just prepared them. Your guests would never imagine those breakfast treats were pre-baked, blast-frozen, thawed, and then warmed and served. Nor will they taste the difference as they grab a cup of coffee and multi-grain muffin before they dash off for the day.
That’s the beauty of blast freezing. A blast freeze will take a baked loaf of bread with an internal temperature of about 160 degrees Fahrenheit to around 41 degrees Fahrenheit in less than 90 minutes. That same loaf of bread will be frozen solid in about four hours. The faster freezing process creates smaller ice crystals that help preserve the baked good’s look, taste, texture, and nutritional value. It also allows for an extended shelf life without the use of preservatives.
5. Reduces Food Waste
One of the most wasted foods in the world is bread because it’s quick to spoil, and we tend to make much more of it in the industrial food sector than we need at any given time. Supply chain breakdowns, such as problems with temperature-controlled distribution vehicles, also cause significant waste every year.
Suppose you own a restaurant and plan for a weekday crowd of about 100 dinner customers, and your morning artisan bread delivery reflects that estimate. What happens when you only get 50 diners? What do you do with all the extra sliced bread you had ready to serve? Unfortunately, it will likely end up in the garbage out back.
Instead of your daily fresh bread delivery, consider ordering frozen bread dough or frozen pre-baked bread. Since your prep time is substantially quicker with a frozen product, you can readily adjust the amount of bread you need to make according to your number of guests. Less waste, everybody wins.
Serving hot, freshly baked, nutritious, and delicious baked goods does not require a kitchen full of bakery staff. Partnering with a foodservice supplier able to supply your business with high-quality frozen doughs made with real ingredients may be all the bakery you need. Your customers will love cookies, pastries, and breads that offer the taste and texture of handmade baked goods.