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TURF WARS – For bakery and coffee cafes, growth means capitalizing on the others’ strengths, says Technomic

CHICAGO, US – While bakery and coffee cafes have much in common, consumers have distinct preferences towards one over the other for certain types of visits.

For example, bakery cafés have a stronghold on midday occasions, whereas coffee cafés win with breakfast and beverage occasions.

As a result, bakery cafés are hoping to boost traffic by strengthening their breakfast and coffee programs, while coffee cafés are focusing on improvements to their lunch and evening offerings.

Additionally, both are extending their reach with certain consumer segments: select coffee cafés will target low-income and Hispanic consumers, while bakery cafés will develop units in more rural areas.

Technomic’s latest research points to growth opportunities via further innovation and differentiation in beverage and evening programs; the expansion and evolution of better-for-you and socially responsible fare; and forward-thinking technological advancements that serve to engage customers and improve their experience.

“Cafés must innovate and differentiate by delivering unique menus and experiences,” said Darren Tristano, Executive Vice President of Technomic Inc.

“For bakery cafés, that means strengthening their value and convenience at breakfast, while coffee cafés must prove themselves as a viable evening option. Savory bites, upgraded ambiance and buy-one-get-one beverage deals may help drive after-work social and snack occasions.

To help foodservice executives understand the latest behaviors, preferences and attitudes of consumers regarding bakery and coffee cafés, Technomic has published an update of its Bakery & Coffee Café Consumer Trend Report. Interesting findings include:

Cafés are expanding their evening programs, with 36 percent of bakery-café patrons and 25 percent of coffee-café customers visiting for dinner at least monthly.

Upscale beverages will strengthen loyalty: a majority of consumers visit bakery (63 percent) and coffee (84 percent) cafés at least monthly for beverage-only occasions, and many visit bakery (47 percent) and coffee (63 percent) cafés because they serve their preferred coffee.

Many consumers say healthy options are important for bakery (50 percent) and coffee (37 percent) café menus. Socially responsible practices are also at the forefront; about a quarter of consumers are more likely to visit cafés for coffee if it is Fair-Trade certified.

[View related INFOGRAPHIC (PDF file): Spotlight on Bakery and Coffee Cafes]