Technomic: Room for bakery-cafes to grow

by Staff
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CHICAGO — The primary reason 57% of about 3,500 survey respondents said they have not been to a bakery-café restaurant is there are not any in their area, according to a survey by food service consultants Technomic. Another top reason for lack of visits to bakery-cafes is consumers are not familiar with the concept and food items offered at such restaurants.

"We believe this spells significant, untapped opportunity for the already successful bakery-café segment," said Darren Tristano, executive vice-president of Technomic Information Services. "With less than a quarter of non-users citing ‘negative’ factors such as price or preference, it appears that bakery-café operators’ greatest challenge is simply providing additional access and awareness."

Of consumers who have been to a bakery-café restaurant, 54% said Panera was their most recent occasion. The rest cited smaller national or regional bakery café chains.

"In consumers’ minds, Panera Bread has defined the bakery-café segment and set the standard for what other bakery-café concepts should offer in terms of food, atmosphere and service," Technomic said.

The survey also found women and younger consumers enjoy bakery-cafes not just for the food but also as a place to socialize and be with friends. Men and consumers with an income of over $100,000 find Wi-Fi access to be a useful amenity, and Asians, Hispanics and consumers with an income of less than $25,000 find communal tables appealing.

Almost two in 10 survey respondents said they most recently went to a bakery-café for breakfast with portable breakfast sandwiches, baked goods and smoothie options being some of the more popular breakfast offerings.

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