When surveyed, people most often say they prefer fresh to frozen for bakery items like breads, pastries, and cookies. In fact, sometimes, the two processes find themselves on opposite ends of the spectrum of consumer likes and dislikes, with frozen losing every time.
At the same time, using frozen dough or frozen pre-baked items, referred to as bake-off products, has been shown to cut down on costs, reduce waste, and shrink the time it takes for the customer to get the product.
So if you’re a food truck owner who wants to offer swoon-worthy hot breakfast pastries to people on their way to work, does that mean you have to hire an acclaimed baker? Or does quality have to take a back seat to cost efficiency?
Thankfully, the answer to both of those questions is, “No.” Why, you ask? Simply because the bake-off market is booming and for all the right reasons.
Tastetomorrow.com’s Year in Review for 2021 revealed that taste topped the charts as the number one consumer consideration in the bakery, patisserie, and chocolate sectors. If you really want to keep your customers coming back for more, you have to deliver on taste. Ready-to-bake and frozen dough solutions do just that.
Remember those freshly-baked loaves of French bread that just came out of the oven at your local grocery? In today’s economic climate with high labor and equipment costs, it’s more than likely that the loaves came into the store as pre-fermented frozen (PFF) or par-baked frozen (PBF) dough. Both varieties come ready-to-bake on site.
How the bread tastes depends on your choice of wholesale bread supplier. Consider working with a supplier that uses natural ingredients, tasty recipes, top quality sheeting equipment, and cutting-edge blast freeze technology. The end-product you present to your customer will taste every bit as good as if your staff had spent the day making it from scratch.
Let’s not forget how your product looks. We live in an age of social media, where posting a picture of your delicious blueberry muffin is almost as important as eating it. And psychologically, you can’t get around the fact that people will eat your cookies or other baked goods first with their eyes before they ever pull out their wallets.
Our tendency to think ill of freezing probably stems from the numerous cases of freezer damage our home-baked creations have endured over the years. But unlike our feeble freezer attempts, commercial blast freezing preserves the shape and texture of each baked item so it looks just as fresh as it did on the day it was made, even after several months of cold storage.
We’re busy people. If we’re not at work, we’re at play, but we’re always on the go either way. Consumer studies show that we are constantly looking for more convenient meal and snack options. At the same time, we don’t want to compromise quality or nutritional value. As a result, frozen food is making a comeback, especially frozen bakery items.
To meet the increased need for on-the-go baked goods, convenience stores, coffee chains, retail outlets, and other foodservice providers have turned to frozen food producers in a big way. By using pre-baked and ready-to-bake frozen bakery items, businesses can give consumers fast and easy fare without incurring additional operational costs for food prep. It’s a win-win for the consumer and the business owner.
Frozen foods lock in essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals and, in some cases, preserve them even better than in fresh foods. Contrary to what you might think, freezing also represents an effective safeguard against degradation in overall quality and freshness.
But that’s only half the story.
Today’s discerning customers care a lot about eating healthy. Providing them with nutritious options is not just about telling them what you’re not using, like trans fats, preservatives, dyes or chemicals, etc. It’s also about what you’re putting into the food that matters. For instance, does your bread include seeds, nuts, or fruit? Do you use natural sweeteners, like honey or raw cane sugar? Is white flour your only go-to, or do you also use spelt, barley, or oat flours?
Consider asking your frozen baked goods supplier what ingredients they use and why. Here at Janey Lou’s, we not only begin with quality natural ingredients, but we also can work with you on creating customized and proprietary recipes that suit your company’s unique nutritional focus.
Other notable trends in the bakery sector for 2021 included an increased emphasis on ethical and sustainable production and a desire for companies to continue with enhanced hygiene and food safety protocols post-COVID.
Frozen bakery items effectively hit most consumer trend targets in 2021, and they promise to do so again in 2022 if the projected growth targets in the market segment hold. That’s excellent news for the bake-off industry, your business, and consumers.