Supermarket Perimeter - September 2020 - 66

SPOTLIGHT

DONUTS
by Emily Park
THE INSTORE BAKERY
has been one of the most
adversely impacted fresh
grocery departments since
the coronavirus made its first
waves of change in grocery
industry practices and consumer
behaviors in early March.
While most categories within
the fresh bakery have made up
some loss from the early months
of the pandemic, the donut
category still has a lot of ground
to make up. At its worst in April,
donut sales in the instore bakery
were coming in at 50.3% below
April 2019 sales. As of the first
week of August, donut sales are
still struggling at 37.7% below
sales in the same timeframe of
2019, according to data released
by 210 Analytics and IRI.

Since the pandemic has
ushered in the closure of openair, self-serve donut cases found
in many grocery store bakeries,
moving donut production over to
commissary and central kitchen
locations has the potential to
help the instore bakery make
up those lost sales, said Kathy
Sargent, director of market
strategy at Lenexa, Kan.-based
Corbion.
"Commissaries and central
kitchens have been able to assist
these bakeries with switching to
pre-packaged and pre-portioned
baked goods like donuts, while
offering consumers peace of
mind," Sargent said. "We believe
that off-site kitchens have an
important role to play in helping
instore bakeries make up missed

sales, by providing them with
the vital skilled labor, safe
pre-packaged goods and the
delicious, exciting donuts their
customers want."
Sargent pointed out that
consumer desire for donuts is still
around, and shoppers are looking
for indulgent and on-the-go
breakfast foods such as donuts.
An estimated 60% of the US
population consumes donuts
annually, which is a number that
Statista predicts will increase in
years to come. But customers
need to feel safe buying
the donuts.
In July 2020 commercially
packed donut sales actually
grew by 2.6%, year over year,
suggesting that using a central
kitchen to pre-package fresh
donuts is the way to usher in
those sales to the instore bakery.
"With the pandemic straining
bakeries all over the country, the
problem of sourcing skilled labor
was only further exacerbated,"

Sargent said. "But one-way
central kitchens help to address
this issue is that they have access
to more skilled workers and can
help bakers offer donuts that
capitalize on trends involving
new and exciting flavors."
Moving donut production
over to commissary and central
kitchens also offers the benefit
of quality control, pointed out
Mike Baxter, product information
and marketing coordinator for
Auburn, Wash.-based Belshaw
Adamatic Bakery Group.
"Quality control is the biggest
benefit, because larger bakeries
have equipment that ensures
consistent product," Baxter said.
"Employee issues, equipment
issues and capital investment
issues are handled by a larger
bakery, perhaps with 50 or more
employees. The larger bakery
will usually find it easier to deal
with each of these, by virtue of
its size."
Baxter said product quality
and taste innovation are the two
factors that guarantee the future
of donuts and provides value to
using automation and off-site
facilities to produce donuts for
the instore bakery.
"The donut category is safe
because it produces unique
customer satisfaction that can't
be compared to any other bakery
item," he said.
Baxter also noted that off-site
locations have more ability to
automate the production process,
which reduces the number
of human touchpoints for the
product on the production line
and reduces contamination risk.

From robotic solutions that proof and deposit donuts to automated fryers, Belshaw can help facilities
determine what equipment best fits their needs.
66 - SEPTEMBER 2020

supermarketperimeter.com

Belshaw offers a number of ways
for commissaries and central
kitchens to begin automating
and further automate the donut
production process. From

BELSAHW, CORBION

Automating donut
production


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Supermarket Perimeter - September 2020

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