When it comes to baked goods such as breads, tray bakes and cakes, an operator’s worst enemy can be time. It’s no secret that baked goods naturally have a shorter shelf life meaning once they’re unwrapped and being served it’s a rush to sell all stock at its best. Once a product hits the end of its shelf life it may begin to lose flavour, change in appearance and even become stale.
However, for those operators that choose to stock frozen baked items that are frozen immediately after completion of the baking and packing process, they benefit from multiple pros that can improve not only the quality of food they serve, but areas of the business such as supply chain management, stocking and waste management.
Jane Deegan, Marketing Manager at Kara, discusses the benefits of choosing freshly frozen products.
“One of the issues faced with transporting and storing baked goods is that the products tend to be fragile. Whether it’s breads, cakes or traybakes, the natural structure of the foods means they’re susceptible to obtaining damage and potentially being destroyed. However, by freezing these products we’re given a protection from ‘in transit’ and supply chain damage, where products tend to move or can be compressed.
“There’s also the added benefit of maximising your storage capabilities as with most products such as bread, you can stack frozen loaves and buns on top of each other.
“For consumers, one of the most important factors when purchasing baked goods is high quality and good flavours; over a third (34%) of consumers choose food quality as the most important need for buying bakery items1. By freezing baked goods immediately after baking and packing, the product remains only a couple of hours old until the defrosting process has been completed. This gives fresher product than an unfrozen equivalent that is likely to have been in the supply chain for two days prior to being used in store. For products like bread, which are prone to staling, this is an ideal solution for maintaining the fresh taste and texture that consumers seek.
“One of the issues operators face when offering baked goods is managing their waste levels; with frozen products, operators have the option to thaw and serve goods in tandem with the demands of the store. This, in turn, gives them greater control over their stock and will help reduce and manage waste.
“An increase in sales can result in lack of stock at the outlet, however stocking frozen products and defrosting as needed gives outlets flexibility to thaw as needed and to hold additional stock as contingency.
Choosing a supplier that offers frozen baked goods covers all of these eventualities, meaning operators can relax in the knowledge that they are always using fresh produce with limited waste risk.”
1 Figure obtained from MCA Bakery and Sandwich tracker