Thursday, August 23, 2012

Two takes on boosting bakery traffic

Everyone loves a decadent treat, but how many times can you indulge? That’s the question two baked-goods specialists are addressing in new bids to boost traffic, and the answers are as different as cake and pie.

Krispy Kreme walked investors through new research yesterday on the public’s perception of donuts in general and the chain’s brand in particular. Among the bombshell findings cited: People like donuts.

In fact, explained Kripsy execs, consumers said they want more excuses to eat donuts, presumably without guilt. Respondents said they’ll eat ‘em anytime, day or night, if there’s half a reason. And Krispy has an edge, the officials continued, because it’s an iconic brand that provides an experience, from the Hot Doughnuts Now sign to servers’ retro paper hats, rather than just a sugar jolt.

So, explained CEO James Morgan, “the domestic menu needs to stay close to the core donut offering.”  The strategy will be to give patrons more occasions where a donut and a coffee would be appropriate.

Contrast that approach with the exploration underway by Cinnabon, the cinnamon bun meister.  Specializing in a gooey delight means you might not have as many visits per week from customers as you might like. But complicating the challenge is Cinnabon’s concentration in malls, where you’re not going to get an impulse buy from someone walking down the street in a search for lunch options.

In a surprise to no one, Cinnabon is testing savory options, including a mini fresh-baked pizza, a line of breakfast sandwiches, and croissants.  Right now the experiment is being conducted at just one unit.

It’s not ignoring the allure of treats. One of the products on the trial menu is a cupcake, for instance.

But unlike Krispy, Cinnabon is figuring that a treat is a treat because it’s a rare indulgence. 

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