How Does COVID Change The Way People Consume Desserts?
Through the pandemic, people were not buying as much prepared, cooked, or baked food as they were in the past. Most were not open to leaving their homes or meeting others, and they started cooking their meals to stay safe. The initial days of the pandemic saw a bunch of lockdowns and curfews, which made it quite difficult for anyone to even leave their houses.
One of the positives of the pandemic was that we were seeing massive growth in the dessert industry. People started ordering their food home. With everyone stressed and unsure about the future, people could no longer meet, and companies had their staff work remotely so they would order their meals home. We were fortunate to be a part of the movement and wanted to get through the process.
We did have challenges, but they were very manageable. There were issues with raw materials and other minor changes we had to get through but saw that most businesses and industries were going through the same so were open to getting through.
There were massive shortages in raw materials at some points, and with the new rules traveling was becoming quite challenging, so we were unsure how to bridge the gap. Additionally, we could not bring in all the packaging, and a lot of it was not available in the cities where we were located, which made distribution difficult. The worst of the lot was not having staff when we needed them the most. We did not have much choice because people were getting sick, and we were unsure how to help them get through. Hiring was another struggle through the pandemic with the massive changes taking place and people getting sick. Ours was a job that had to be done in person, so we could not have a team working remotely and baking, so we were at the mercy of the new rules, lockdowns, and everything else.
We had to make some changes to the way we would connect with our clients. In the past, we could just go up and meet them but that changed with the pandemic and we had to skip many meetings. We worked on trade shows virtually; cake samples were sent directly to the buyer’s home instead of meeting them, which we did look forward to sometimes.
We try to keep people away from coming to meet us and try to function remotely by delivering, which was a massive blessing through the lockdowns. People did not want to leave their homes, and we had to make sure that we knew what we were doing.
As much as we like working in person, we would not complain about working remotely because it allowed us to stay functional during these challenging times.
At the same time, we had a team of skilled pastry chefs on the floor, working very hard in the plant, making delicious cakes. They had to come in, so it was challenging for them. However, we made sure that our clients could connect with us remotely, which is one of the reasons that we believed that we were getting through the pandemic with ease. We don’t have anyone come in but connect with them remotely to show them what we have to offer. We have an online catalog and can have conversations with them if they ever need to. For the team working in the bakery, we make sure that they are following the rules that we put down, maintaining social distance, wearing gloves, and other basic requirements.
We were functional for a lot more of the hours now that we run online. Our chefs, for the most part, work only during their working hours, which were the same throughout the process but we would be open to getting deliveries throughout the process.
We are open to meeting people in person, but we don’t encourage it. We send samples right to the buyer’s home office if they ever need to allow them to taste the dessert stress-free. There could be challenges with people coming by because we are working with food, so they should maintain their distance. When it comes to communicating with them remotely, we work on that. Zoom is currently our best assistance nowadays.
Additionally, we take part in virtual public events and business Expos whenever it is needed. We noticed that we had many more people getting their desserts in COVID, and if we had to assume, we would think that it cheers them up.
Customers buy more desserts; I guess this is to cheer them up. Customers choose more upscale desserts; because they can make the basic ones at home and buy small desserts, which makes sense because of the smaller gathering.
We were struggling with staffing issues and learned that we need more people to assist with retail-ready items instead of bulk items because people can grab and go due to difficulties when it comes to hiring people to serve at the store level.
If you crave something sweet at an in-store bakery, connect with us at Jessica Pastries Inc. While we work on private projects and assist our clients with their needs, we supply cakes and desserts to supermarkets and large food chains so that they can further distribute them. While our teams work on creating many cakes a day, we connect with new markets and clients to increase the business. While we have stores in some parts of the country, we deliver cakes and desserts to clients, which was a massive benefit during the pandemic. If you want a better understanding of the work we do, please click here. If you are looking to connect with us or think we can assist with a need or sugar cravings, please click here.