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It is not a secret that baked goods that rely on large gatherings and celebrations for sales struggled during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Even as pandemic-related challenges begin to ease, Jonna Parker, team lead for fresh foods at IRI, sees how the lessons of 2020 can help the in-store bakery find opportunities for future growth.

“In-store bakeries that did really well focused on knowing that they needed to take a considerable amount of their assortment, especially seasonal and celebration, and realized this might be a four-person or two-person holiday,” she said in the latest episode of Since Sliced Bread. “I think that’s where in-store bakery has a big opportunity as we go into 2021 and beyond.”  

Ms. Parker explains how COVID-19 restrictions and anxieties impacted sales of large desserts. While some of the data may not be surprising, success in smaller sizes and the freezer aisle showed promise that demand for celebration sweets persists.

Michael Mendes, president of Just Desserts, San Francisco, also shared where the supplier of desserts and sweet goods to in-store bakeries saw growth and where the future of the category is going. 

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