Sell more bread, pastry and chocolate online by addressing these consumer doubts

15 Nov 2023

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Consumers are adopting a multi-channel attitude, our 2023 Taste Tomorrow global consumer survey pointed out. People are now shopping at several different physical stores – supermarkets, bakeries, coffee shops etc – and ordering food online. Online outlets are key in the consumer shopping journey as we found that 46% of consumers buy groceries online at least monthly. In 2021, that was just 36%.

Webshops have become a not-to-be-missed sales channel, but there are some consumers that are still hesitant to buy online. Address their doubts and concerns and grow your online revenue.

Why consumers DO buy bread, pastry and chocolate online

Across all channels – artisan, supermarket, foodservice and online – we see that freshness, variety and price are the most important consumer choice drivers. That is true for baked goods, fine patisserie and chocolate. 

Consumers who shop online are motivated primarily by price. They hope to score a good deal for their daily breakfast through webshops or have compared several outlets to find the chocolate shop with the most value for money. 

Variety is the second most important appeal of grocery shopping on the world wide web. Instead of having a 2 ft display with cakes to choose from, it's possible to scroll through page after page with hundreds of options in each flavor and colorway imaginable. 

But convenience is also a major draw, think of the ease of shopping while sitting on your phone or the wide range of delivery options available.

These are the top 5 motivations consumers around the world have for shopping online:


Why consumers DO NOT buy bread, pastry and chocolate online

While many consumers have already succumbed to the convenience of online food shopping, there are people who are reluctant about this channel. Their biggest barriers to buying baked goods and chocolate online are doubts about freshness, quality and the lack of personal contact, according to our latest Taste Tomorrow survey among 20,000 consumers across 50 countries around the globe.

Do you want to sell more on your online channels? Then you have take away concerns about those issues.

Bread & freshness

Concerns about freshness make consumers reluctant to buy their bread online. So it is important to communicate how your products are still deliciously crispy on the outside and soft on the inside when they are delivered (and after). You can do that by being transparent, engaging consumers’ senses, and providing reassurance that their bread will arrive as fresh as possible. Good to know: we found that 45% of consumers are willing to pay more for bakery products that are super fresh. So these actions might help increase your profitability too! 

Here are a few tips:

  • Use descriptive language to engage the senses. Describe the aroma of freshly baked bread, the sound of a crispy crust, and the warm, soft interior. Encourage customers to imagine these sensations.

  • Clearly display the date and time of baking. This provides transparency and reassures customers that they are getting a recently baked product. Be sure to also mention that products are always delivered within, for instance, 8 hours after baking.

  • Offering a guarantee that your bread will stay fresh for a certain number of days after delivery. Promise customers that if they receive bread that doesn't meet their freshness expectations, you will replace it or refund their purchase.

  • Use tracking technology to show the journey of the baked goods from the bakery to the customer's doorstep. Customers can follow the route of their bread in real time, reinforcing the idea of freshness.

  • Come up with limited releases, such as seasonal snack varieties or flavors that are only available for a limited time only. By creating a sense of scarcity, you can convey the idea that your bread is always in high demand and therefore always fresh.

  • Create content around freshness. By placing regular updates on your blog or news section around your baking process and tips on how to keep bread fresh for longer, you demonstrate your commitment to freshness.

Patisserie & quality

The number one concern that consumers have about sweet pastry, cakes and fine patisserie that was ordered online, is quality. So on your website and webshop, you want to highlight craftsmanship, showcase your high-end ingredients or show the stories of satisfied customers who thought your pastries were delicious. 24% of consumers is happy to pay more for products that show craftsmanship, so that’s an added bonus!

Here are a few tips:

  • Use high-quality images of your pastries, cakes and confections. Showcase the intricate details, textures, and vibrant colors to make your products visually appealing.

  • Feature genuine customer testimonials and reviews. Be sure to include photos of happy customers enjoying your pastries, along with their feedback.

  • Share behind-the-scenes videos that highlight the craftsmanship behind your creations. Show the process of creating your signature cakes, from ingredient selection to baking and decorating. 

  • Underscore the quality of your ingredients and cite any locally sourced, organic or premium ingredients you use. Explain why these choices make your pastries superior in taste and freshness.

  • Provide detailed tasting notes for your patisserie, similar to how wine or chocolate tastings are described. This adds a sophisticated element to your products and helps customers appreciate their complexity.

  • Pay attention to the packaging of your products. High-quality, eco-friendly and aesthetically pleasing packaging enhances the overall perception of your patisserie.

  • Display any relevant certifications, awards, or accolades prominently on your website. These external validations can boost your credibility and reputation.

Chocolate and personal contact

Consumers who stay away from online chocolate shops prefer the personal contact of physical stores. This is a tough nut to crack, but it's not impossible to give your online channels a more personal and human feel.

Here are a few tips:

  • Implement a live chat function with real customer service agents who can answer questions and give advice. Of course, you can opt for a chatbot for direct inquiries, but ensure the option to chat with a live person is always available.

  • Handwritten thank you notes are a great way for small businesses to add a personal touch that makes customers feel appreciated and valued.

  • Collect and share user-generated content. Encourage customers to share their experiences and photos with your products. Feature these on your website and social media, along with personal anecdotes they provide.

  • Introduce your pastry chefs or bakers. Create profiles for your team members on your website, including their photos, bios and expertise. This humanizes your brand and showcases the faces behind the business.

  • Offer personalized recommendations, whether that is through AI technology, video shopping assistants or interactive quizzes, shoppers will value the custom product suggestions.

  • Humanize your social media by showcasing behind-the-scenes content, introducing team members and responding to customer inquiries with a personal touch.

Hybrid shopping experiences: win-win for retailers and consumers

Are you looking for a way to give brick-and-mortar stones new relevance in the digital age? Then you should definitely check out these 8 inspiring hybrid concepts that blur the distinction between retail and food service concepts. Think of bakeries in bookstores, coffee bars in laundromats and ice cream outlets in shoe boutiques. This is why they work so well. 

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