Bread will become increasingly available online, which will have its impact on supermarkets, industrial bakeries and the consumer, according to Rabobank’s Online Bakery: Browsing for Bread report.
Fresh bread is one of the fastest-growing categories in the online supermarket. Currently, about 275 types of bread are presented online in the Netherlands, a number that will quickly grow. The online bread sales will have far-reaching consequences for supermarkets, industrial bakeries and the consumer and particularly the industrial bakeries will need to adapt to the online world in order to maintain their market share.
“Every industrial baker, whether they are small or large, will need to go online sooner or later. They will need to analyze their product range, their marketing and logistics”, Rabobank global strategist Consumer Foods, Cyrille Filott, said. “It seems an obvious choice to collaborate with supermarkets, in order to share knowledge and experiences regarding consumers’ wishes.”
Recognizable, distinguishable and retrievable bread items
Even though online bread sales are not that common yet, the items need to be recognizable, retrievable and need to be in a distinguishable section of the online supermarket to succeed. .
Bakeries will need to focus on a more dynamic marketing to entice the online consumer, although the online channel also opens opportunities to launch new products and formulas, like frozen bread or “bake-to-order” fresh bread.
Differences in bread culture
Not every country act similarly when it comes to online bread sales. A customer in the United Kingdom can choose between 850 different online bread items, while France only has a limited product range (150 items) despite its frontrunner position in the world of online sales. French consumers still prefer a visit to the artisan baker.
Even though consumer behaviour is country-based, online shopping is rapidly gaining popularity everywhere. The Western European consumer will buy 20 to 25 % of his groceries online by 2030, according to Rabobank’s report.