Danish Pastries have long been a staple of in-store bakeries, and Lantmännen Unibake UK’s Schulstad Bakery Solutions brand is committed to keeping the category fresh and enticing for all. That’s why it has released new research revealing what really makes Millennials and Gen Zs tick when visiting in-store bakeries.

The research deep-dives into the mindset of consumers between the ages of 18-45 to fully understand what gets their taste buds tingling, what encourages them to reach for the tongs at fixture, and what drives them to follow through to purchase, with taste, aroma and the texture of Danish Pastries emerging as key.

From Maple Pecan Plaits to Cinnamon Swirls, 43% of under 45s are already picking-up these sweet pastries on a weekly basis. This shows that the appetite for Danish Pastries amongst younger audiences is there, with 50% of Millennials and Gen Zs also open to shopping the category, that’s why Schulstad Bakery Solutions has identified four key ways to encourage footfall to fixture and drive incremental sales:

Sam Winsor, Marketing Manager says “As a business we understand the value Danish Pastries can add to an in-store bakery fixture. We wanted to take a step back and ask younger shoppers what they want from their in-store bakery experience, and really drill down into what makes them tick, so we can support retailers to revitalise their offering and help drive sales.

“Danish Pastries have a loyal following among the over 45s, but we want younger generations to feel as passionate about Danish Pastries by really bringing to life the taste, aroma and texture. So, it was crucial we understood how we could help them fall in love with their local in-store bakery.

“Our research has identified clear consumer desires and allowed us to share this valuable insight with retailers to help them make most of a lucrative but yet to be converted market.”

1. Showcase the taste, aroma and texture of Danish Pastries

60% of under 45s claim freshly baked items are the biggest incentive to purchase. Hitting multiple senses, from the irresistible smell of a freshly baked Cinnamon Swirl, to the moreish texture of a Maple Pecan Plait’s crisp flaky pastry, through to the melt in the mouth first bite of a Vanilla Crème Crown, nothing beats a freshly baked pastry.

Retailers can help entice shoppers to the fixture and secure those all-important incremental sales by baking little and often throughout the day, keeping the appeal of the freshly baked aroma. It’s also key for retailers to shout about their freshly baked offering. Use Point of Sale to signpost when goods have just been baked and social media to encourage footfall.

When consumers were asked what they like best about a Danish Pastry, its 24 layers of crisp, flaky pastry came out on top (48%). This suggests that for Millennials and Gen Zs, the choice of purchasing a Danish Pastry is about more than taste alone; quality is key. Retailers should stock the best quality products, like those from Schulstad Bakery Solutions, whose 140 years’ experience in producing high-quality baked goods can help ensure retailer offerings match consumer expectation of the experience.

2. Consider upselling and link deals at fixture

Value for money is more important than ever. Link deals and cross promotions are crucial as 56% of Millennials and Gen Zs confirm that a hot or cold drink and a Danish Pastry pairing would increase their desire to purchase.

Consumers respond well to recommendations, so using POS to suggest flavour pairings, such as a light and flaky Maple Pecan Plait, matched with a rich and velvety Vanilla Frappuccino; or a delicious Apple Crown coupled with a Caramel Frappuccino, are likely to encourage dual and incremental purchases.

The research also highlighted that 29% of consumers are likely to make a purchase more frequently with price promotions. So, while in-store bakeries might not traditionally be a place for promotions, the research suggests upselling and link deals need to become common place to increase penetration.

3. Embrace the range and versatility of Danish Pastries

A one size fits all approach does not work when considering Danish Pastry sizes and formats. So, it is essential that products deliver against multiple formats for a range of different eating occasions to reach the widest audience possible. As the research shows that consumers are split almost equally when asked whether smaller (34%) or larger (28%) sizes would help convince them to make a purchase. Likewise, they were split over whether multipack (28%) or individual pastry (31%) options were their preference.

Furthermore, consumers were split as to whether they would consume a Danish Pastry with family (51%) or enjoy a moment alone (57%). As such, the research shows that retailers should stock a range of Danish Pastry products. Schulstad Bakery Solutions offers a variety of quality products, including its Maple Pecan Plait, Cinnamon Swirl, Vanilla Crème Crown and Mini Danish Selection, which includes bitesize versions of its Maple Pecan Plait, Cinnamon Swirl, Vanilla Crème Crown, Apple Coronet and Raspberry Crown. These can be packaged to offer a multipack option.

4. Respond to consumer taste preferences with your Danish Pastries fixture

The versatility of the Danish Pastry is part of its charm, with several different fillings and formats to choose from. While each has its own loyal following, the research shows that by far the most popular format is the Danish Pastry Swirl, with 54% of consumer choosing this as their preferred option.

Consumers also reported-back on the type of flavours and fillings that drive them to choose a Danish Pastry. Almost 36% enjoy custard fillings the most, while 32% enjoy cinnamon and 27% favour maple flavours, so it’s no coincidence that Schulstad Bakery Solution’s Maple Pecan Plait, Cinnamon Swirl and Vanilla Crème Crown are the brands best-selling SKUs.

To help ensure a point of difference, the research also shows that there is an opportunity for retailers to customise these popular products with additional toppings. Consumers were additionally drawn to products with dark, milk or white chocolate, collectively taking 50% of the vote, so offering Danish products finished with chocolate icing instead of traditional icing is likely to be a popular alternative. While customising with a sprinkling of additional nuts, chocolate pieces or sweets would help to create the ultimate Danish Pastry for a further 40% of consumers.

It’s clear from Schulstad Bakery Solution’s research that Danish Pastries offer retailers a lucrative opportunity that is ready for the taking, but to ensure retailers make the most of the opportunity by recruiting new shoppers to the category, stocking authentic, quality and tasty products such as Schulstad Bakery Solution’s range is essential.

The research was conducted by Opeepl on behalf of Lantmännen Unibake UK’s Schulstad Bakery Solutions brand, June 2022 and followed a study of 500 consumers from across the UK and all demographics. For more information on Schulstad Bakery Solutions or to find how they can support you visit www.schulstadbakerysolutions.co.uk.


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