There are a lot of different options when promoting your pastries. Between the local, healthy, organic, all natural, we often forget that at the end of the day a lot of people want their pastries sweet.
In our beginning over 65 years ago, when we only sold sugars, we have seen many different changes in what small and large bakeries market. It used to be, “We have the sweetest pastries in town” then “We have the freshest pastries in town” and now it is “We have the most organic or local or healthy pastries in town”. It’s not to say that these marketing tactics don’t work but research* from leading confectioners show that when people indulge in sweets they don’t care if it is healthy. In fact, saying it’s healthy might lose sales.
This might take a little bit of explaining so let’s start from the beginning. When the health craze began around 50 years ago people started trying to make healthier candies and while “candy that is good for you” sounds like a great thing; people didn’t buy it. Even today when, as many would say, we are at the peak of another health craze people still choose their candies and sweets, like pastries, based on flavor over healthiness. In fact, to take it even further, people are less likely to buy sweets and pastries that are marketed as healthy.
To think of it from the mind of your customer, understand that when they go in to buy a pastry, they are expecting to indulge themselves. They have already factored into their minds that they will be taking in certain amount of calories and sugars. However, when they think of the item as healthy, it doesn’t turn into a positive, but instead it becomes a negative because of what the customer perceives natural or healthy food to taste like. A better idea is to still use quality and healthy ingredients but when promoting the goods use words like “sweet” and “delicious” instead of words like “healthy” or “all natural”. Give your customer the best of both worlds, even if they don’t know it!
* This information comes from a personal interview with head of marketing at K&M Food Concepts April 2012.