Have you seen some of the wacky flavors and creative products bakeries and cafes are developing today?
Cupcake bakeries accelerated the movement by adding unusual ingredients to batters and icings, like bacon, basil and even pickles. Flavor innovations have snowballed into other bakery products as well.
Muddy Paws Cheesecakes, St. Louis Park, Minn. offers more than 200 cheesecake flavors. Rafael’s Tequila Lime and Deadhead, a tie die cheesecake, are two examples of its innovations. Dinkel’s Bakery, a full-line retail bakery in Chicago, found a hit with its maple bacon donuts. Sammy’s of Provo, Utah is famous for its pie shakes–a whole piece of pie of your choice (crust, filling and all) blended into a milk shake.
As bakers venture into unexplored flavor territory, they are discovering a whole new wardrobe for bakery products. Products that are traditionally sweet are trying on savory ingredients and visa versa. Sometimes new flavor combinations work, and sometimes they don’t. But, they certainly are turning heads and letting customers know these businesses are always thinking, always innovating.
Even if wacky flavor combinations or new product concepts don’t become greatest hits, they keep customers interested and may even generate some publicity for your business. Customers may be drawn to the wacky, but will want to try your most popular products too, typically the classic flavors and traditional products people have come to love and adore over the years.
The best-selling muffin is still blueberry. Plain bagels rule the roost for most bakeries that sell them. The most popular cookie in America? You guessed it: chocolate chip.
So branch out into new flavor territory for sure. But keep the classics and produce them using the highest quality ingredients and processes, and your bakery will gain customer loyalty through every flavor trend.