As the independent retail channel moves into the fourth quarter of a year mired in COVID-19 shifts, pivots and changes, the biggest wish on every retailers’ holiday wish list is more supply. Products continue to be backordered, hindering the ability of storeowners to have the seasonal products customers have come to know and love, as well as creating stock issues with bakeware staples.
“A huge part of the problem is getting the items in stock,” said Ginger Cobl, owner of Decatur, AL-based The Cupboard. “I have so many things backordered, including seasonal cake pans and proofing baskets. I am hoping to get them in soon, but even with orders already delivered, I didn’t get everything.”
Laura Havlek, co-owner of Sonoma, CA-based Sign Of The Bear Kitchenware and Tableware, echoed this sentiment, noting the issues in the supply chain are tough.
“The demand caught everyone flat-footed,” she said. “I could have never imagined a scenario in which almost the entire country would be basically stuck inside together,” she said.
The scenario she is speaking about is the Coronavirus pandemic, which swept across the U.S. in waves, but literally stopped many states, cities and towns in their tracks. This, however, created a demand for bakeware through the second and into the third quarters — the same demand that has stifled the supply chain going into holiday time.
“Bakeware is having a resurgence because of this,” Havlek said. “It is spiking and spiking hard. It was easy to forget how simple and delightful making food for people is, both family members and as a gift. This pandemic has given people the opportunity to rediscover these domestic skills.”
Havlek said that in her area, breadmaking is still very popular, as it has been for several months now. Proofing baskets, Dutch ovens and loaf pans have been amongst her top sellers, which she predicts will continue into the holiday season.
Cobl, too, said breadmaking continues to be strong going into the last quarter of the year and she’s been selling just about everything that is needed for making homemade loaves.
“Bread is still trending here. I’ve been selling a ton of Emile Henry baking cloches, which has been very helpful,” said Cobl. “I have a dough whisk that’s popular and proofing baskets, although I haven’t been able to get my whole order because they are oversold.”
She also noted cast iron is picking up, as it is an option for baking projects, including bread, cinnamon rolls and other dough-based creations.
“People are starting to figure out that baking can be an artistic expression, and they’re also learning that it’s really not that hard to do. So many things they can make at home taste just as good, if not better, than those they may have eaten out,” said Cobl.
For more on the rise in homebaked goods, read the rest of our story in the September/October 2020 edition of GOURMET INSIDER®.