The fact is that the effects of the pandemic have affected all sectors and have had a lasting impact on and changed consumer behaviour. The gastronomic sectors in particular were massively affected and now have to adapt to the changed behaviour. In this article, you will learn which trends you will now encounter and how you can emerge from this situation as a winner if you use the opportunities of digitalisation.
In 2019, Germans bought 1,610,926 tonnes of bread (source: GfK). Sales in the bakery sector were also high at 15.22 billion euros. But after the strong sales in 2019, the sales slump came in the first Corona year. In 2020, turnover fell to 14.45 billion euros. The number of employees has declined and the number of businesses has also shrunk:
Corona has changed the bakery trade and the consequences will be felt for some time to come. In the pandemic, demand for bread and baked goods has increased, but mainly in the small bakeries in the suburbs. In the big cities, at the railway stations and at the airports, many large branches and snack bars have remained empty. And yet the trend towards fewer and larger establishments has remained. At the same time, another trend can be observed - the return to artisan bread and baked goods. Proximity to the homeland has been brought more into focus in the last 1.5 years. Regionality and sustainability are becoming increasingly important. The search for artisanal products, for old and unusual grain varieties, superfoods as well as gluten-free alternatives such as buckwheat or amaranth is increasing.
As with the bakers, it can also be observed in snacking that consumers are asking for more regionality and seasonality. Customers are quite willing to spend more money if they can support sustainability in the process. Through the months of preparing their own meals, consumers have come to appreciate the quality of the food. Many people want to know exactly where their food comes from and how it is prepared. The demand for fresh snacks, fruit and superfoods in organic quality has increased.
Snackification caught on as a term before the Corona era, but lost popularity during the crisis as many people worked from home offices and meals took place at home. However, with the increasing number of employees returning to work, students at universities and travellers, the demand for snacks has increased again. However, consumers have become more picky and want to try new things: What used to be the sandwich is now the burger with sweet potato fries, the morning croissant is now a green smoothie and the lunch soup is a Hawaiian bowl. Especially among young people in the big cities, the demand for new snacks has increased. Many prefer to spread their meal breaks throughout the day in the form of snacks. This allows them to be flexible, spontaneous and individual in their eating habits and enjoy several mini-meals instead of one big meal.
A report from Internorga already proves this trend in 2018. 309 decision-makers from the mass catering sector were surveyed. The results are astonishing:
Another study by snack5 shows that only 1/3 of the professionals surveyed eat a hot meal at work. The most important thing for guests is that the snacks are easy to eat and taste fresh and good.
In summary, we can say that the following trends will continue to influence demand behaviour in the future:
How can you withstand all these challenges, keep an eye on the latest trends and implement them in a way that is still profitable?
Digitalisation can support precisely here! Because despite fluctuating demand, tools can create reliable forecasts and support scarce staff through simple automation.
According to the Federal Ministry of Economics, there is still "room for improvement" in the industry when it comes to digitalisation. We have already reported on digitisation and subsidies, and in this context we have seen the reluctance of traditional crafts to embrace automation. But those who dare now can benefit in the long run. Because right now, the simplification and standardisation of processes brings real competitive advantages to counter the shortage of skilled workers or fluctuations in demand.
Tradition and digitalisation go hand in hand: the processes in the bakery are becoming simpler, but there is more time for quality again.
Have you ever had the following problem: It is 4 p.m., actually no more sandwiches are offered in the afternoon, but customers keep asking for them. Young people come into the cafeteria and ask for a snack or smoothie. Not only do these items have to be in stock, they also have to be freshly prepared. Oh yes, on top of that, tomorrow is a holiday and the goods are planned accordingly scarce. How can you plan properly in such a situation, avoid returns/food waste and offer your customers fresh goods? The answer: AI
Currently, branch managers of a bakery or snack bar plan on the basis of historical data. And often, snacks are produced more according to gut feeling. However, artificial intelligence can update the predictions in real time with the events in the branch through machine learning. Delicious Data has developed a tool that can be a great help in bakeries as well as in snacking. The Intelligent Daily Planner is based on the principle of forecasting sales to the minute throughout the day. It then converts this data into concrete production tasks and passes them on to the employees as scheduled to-dos. Via the connection to the POS system, the day planner receives past sales data, which the AI combines with future factors such as weather, holidays and public holidays. In this way, the current item stock and production requirements can be calculated over the course of the day.
AI processes much more data than a human ever could. The system "learns" from the data. The longer the system works and collects data, the more accurate the forecasts become. What it learns can then be applied at multiple locations. This extensive knowledge, flexibility and centralisation brings great benefits to the management. AI can help with three of the industry's biggest concerns: Staff shortages, profit maximisation and food waste.
The huge staff shortage and high returns or low margins are pushing sales down and making every day a challenge. With the help of our daily planner, you can automate tasks and production control, counter the shortage of skilled staff and optimise returns at the same time.
It is not only bakers who have felt the Corona crisis and its consequences - other areas such as snacking are also facing growing challenges and dynamic demands. Many variable factors make it difficult to precisely control the use of goods on site and to keep an eye on the right time for post-production. With the Intelligent Daily Planner, the goods in the display are always fresh, but sell-outs and returns are avoided.
Freshness and quality, snackification and sustainability, flexible working time models and skills shortages are increasingly important and challenging topics for bakers and in snacking. If you would like to know how Delicious Data can support you, then register for our target group-specific webinars.