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The bakery explosion in foodservice.

Without question, bakery has always been part of the foodservice mix. In fact, bakery products are one of the few food groups that permeate all industry segments and all meal occasions. For example, turn to a four-star restaurants and you'll see warm, fresh-baked baked bread in a basket. Turn the other way, and you'll see cookies on the buffet line in a primary school. Whether it's breads, rolls, danish, pizza, sub rolls, biscuits or a pastry shell for lobster newburg, bakery products are on the menu - everywhere.

Interestingly, although bakery products were always part of a menu, only recently has it become a major part in a customer's dining experience. Today, not only do patrons expect to be served baked goods, they expect them to be served warm, fresh and just-baked - in all types of operations. Indeed, how an operator prepares bakery products can determine the degree of success, if not success or failure, of the operation.

The Fresh-Baked Appeal

What's behind this new-found expectation? Certainly the "Back to the Basics" movement, combined with a craving for "comfort food" contributed to its popularity. Baby-boomers, who fueled the growth of the foodservice industry since the late 70s, now expect greater levels of quality. That translates into freshness. In the 90s, bakery products are front and center with entrees in terms of awareness and importance to both customers and operators.

Customers demand - and expect fresh, quality baked goods. And operators see the benefits of serving them. Bakery is a low-cost way to say to customers "I serve quality products in my operation." And smart operators merchandise the fact that they "Bake fresh daily."

In addition to the quality message, operators now are beginning to recognize bakery products as a cost-effective "filler" that helps to control food costs while satisfying customers. And, developing signature items can be done easily with bakery products. For a minimal cost, an operator can create a specialty bread or roll for his/her operation. Think of how many restaurants serve such items as spinach bread or garlic breadsticks. The minimal time and energy spent to create and serve these signature bakery items is well rewarded by a satisfied customer and word-of-mouth advertising.

The Frozen-Dough Explosion

As operators increasingly desire to serve fresh-baked goods, they are turning more and more to frozen dough. Obtaining breads and rolls from local bakeries is an option, but that does not guarantee that fresh-baked quality most patrons are expecting. Traditionally, fine-dining as well as large-volume, commodity-dependent operations such as schools, baked from scratch. But baking from scratch entails a commitment of time and labor - two rare things in today's kitchens - not to mention the necessary equipment.

Operators who used to purchase product delivered from a local bakery are turning to frozen dough for fresh-baked quality. And operators who used to bake from scratch and mix have chosen frozen dough for its convenience. In short, it's the preferred method of baking in the 90s.

Rich Products has tripled its frozen dough product offerings in the past five years and today, we offer several hundred "Proof and Bake" products. But for those operators where equipment, skill and labor are issues, we also offer "Bake and Serve." "Thaw and Serve" and "Thaw and Finish" formats.

We've grouped our products the way operators look at their menus. For example, our Breakfast and Snack category includes such items as cinnamon rolls, danish, donuts and cookies. Our Breadbasket category includes rolls, breads and breadsticks. Bakery items like pizza dough, focaccia, sandwich rolls and puff pastry are offered in our Entree category. And rounding out our offerings is our full-line Dessert category, with such items as pies, eclairs, brownies, cakes and cobblers.

Rich's success in the foodservice bakery area is not surprising considering our vast experience in the supermarket bakery business. As food-service operators began to demand convenient and quality frozen dough products. Rich's was there with a superior and diverse product line. And, unlike any other frozen dough manufacturer, we backed our product line with a national technical support system. We hold classes around the country to help train operators in baking frozen dough. And, for those who can't make these classes, an on-site visit is arranged by one of our technical assistants.

Rich's frozen dough volume has increased substantially over the years not only because of our high-quality products and technical support, but because quite simply, frozen dough is the choice of the 90s. It is the cost-effective way to meet the demands of today's consumer for fresh-baked goods. And, Rich Products is proud to be at the forefront of this trend.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Frozen Food Digest, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Green, James
Publication:Frozen Food Digest
Date:Apr 1, 1992
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