All-natural, fresh, whole-grain, gluten-free, vegan, the list goes on and on. You have probably heard these terms being thrown around in restaurants, cafes, and bakeries in the past several years. Consumers’ desire for healthier, natural food choices is on the upswing. It seems like everyone is jumping on the chance to offer their customers the food they want. Healthy options appeal to millennials and the up and coming generations and are just what you need to attract more customers to your bakery.
The Proof is in the Dough
The National Restaurant Association explains that non-processed foods and gluten-free items are becoming increasingly popular. Eight out of ten customers are paying attention to the nutrition facts of their choices. Locally grown and locally sourced ingredients are also important to consumers.
Panera dominates the bakery industry. Although they are considered a fast food chain, you won’t see any greasy bags being shoved through a tiny window into someone’s car. Panera stands out because they pride themselves in only serving “clean” food. In 2015, Panera launched the “Food As It Should Be” campaign. They promised to remove artificial sweeteners and colors from their foods, only use natural flavors, natural food coloring, and to only use antibiotic-free chickens. Panera also dedicated themselves to post the calorie content of every item on the menu, making for a transparent dining experience that allows customers to feel like they are making great choices and in control of what goes into their bodies.
Healthy food is all the rage on social platforms like Instagram. Top Instagram foodies are influencing the way people think about healthy food. Foods and eating styles once seen as bland and boring are now being displayed in colorful and creative ways.
Not only does Instagram influence consumers to eat clean, but it is also a valuable business tool you should be leveraging to drive customers to your bakery. Instagram’s 800 million users are hungry. They want to see high-quality, clean images of foods and ingredients they feel good about. Take a look at Panera’s Instagram page. Bright images with a clean, fresh appearance entice customers. These images awaken the senses and give off an air of health and well-being. Even the bakery items appear to be healthy.
It’s All About Atmosphere
What kind of atmosphere does your storefront create for your customers? Are they greeted with a warm kiss on the nose by the soft aroma of pastries and other delights? Do the decor, menu imagery, and display reflect fresh-baked, clean, quality products? Appealing to your customers’ sight and smell is a surefire way to get them hooked on what you are selling. Panera does a great job of this by creating “Panera Warmth.” Relaxing colors, artwork, and well-displayed loaves of bread and pastries entice customers and keep them coming back for more.
Panera does a great job with menu transparency. Each item has the calorie count listed. Products are marked as vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free. If customers have questions about what’s in their food, the employees are happy to tell them. If you are using natural ingredients, advertise it! Be transparent. It will help you build trust with your customers. They will feel good about buying food from you and will keep coming back.