Doubling a bakery’s business in four years — despite an economic recession and a category experiencing flat to declining sales every year — requires work. This feat becomes even more remarkable when that bakery specializes in organic products. However, Rudi’s Organic Bakery, Boulder, Colo., has done just that by going beyond its usual channel in natural food stores to enter conventional supermarkets with an expanded line of organic baked goods. And it has jumped on the gluten-free bandwagon.

Rudi’s organic and gluten-free businesses operate separate from each other for several reasons. Company consumer research revealed that both sets of consumers are much more aware of the foods they eat, but that is where most similarities end. Organic consumers are educated about bioengineered foods and interested in the farm-to-fork movement. The main priority of gluten-free shoppers is finding foods they are not allergic to, plus they’re searching for baked goods that taste more like traditional ones. Moreover, gluten-free bread needs a fluffy, soft mouthfeel that mimics conventional counterparts.

Knowing your consumers is the key to success in any business environment. It’s especially important when you’re selling premium-priced baked goods. See Baking & Snack’s October cover story for more information.