Channel surfing. That’s what consumers are doing when it comes to buying bread and baked goods. During the past year, overall sales of bread and baked goods (cookies, crackers and tortillas) rose 2.1%, but that number is deceiving when it comes to explaining where consumers are doing their shopping, according to Nielsen ScanTrack data presented during the recent American Bakers Association annual convention.
Sales at value chains — including dollar stores, club stores, mass merchandisers, supercenters and the military — rose 7.1%, and convenience stores also experienced a 4% bump for the 52 weeks ended Feb. 16, 2013. By contrast, baked good sales at drug stores stayed flat (up 0.2%) and supermarket sales continued their steady decline (down 0.4%).
Although supermarkets still make up the bulk of bread and baked good sales at retail, they’re increasingly becoming less relevant. Much like the Big Four TV networks lost market share over the past decades, as consumers switch channels when purchasing their baked goods, supermarkets also will continue lose their once-held dominance until they learn how to compete more effectively.