Mono Equipment’s BX Eco-Touch oven has been developed with a 10-tray rack, enabling easy oven loading on the retail floor. The convection oven also has glass windows and a protective screen to enable customers to see the baking process from a few feet away.
Roy Kitley, senior international sales and marketing manager for Mono Equipment, said this was the future of in-store baking.
“It provides more theater as opposed to being baked behind the scenes,” he told BakeryandSnacks.com at Anuga FoodTec in Cologne last month.
“It’s more aimed at the customer, because to them that is fresh bread coming out of an oven and the smell isn’t 30 feet away in the background; it’s a few feet away.”
Several large UK retailers were trialing the convection oven and rack system, he said.
Kitley said in-store baking had come a long way since the 1960s when it was first pioneered.
"It’s constantly changing… Our Eco-Touch oven was developed with supermarkets in mind and this is just the next step – really bringing it out from behind the scenes to front-of-house. It’s just more communicative with the customer; it’s a closer relationship between the bread and customer.”
He said many retailers were selling personalized cakes and products done in store, for example.
“I think it’s all about that closer relationship between the customer and the product...People want to be more involved, or appear more involved. I think bringing that front-of-house does build a better relationship between the product and the customer.”
Gluten-free and food-to-go
Asked if gluten-free had a future for in-store bakeries, Kitley said retailers would likely become more involved if demand continued to increase.
“We do sell to gluten-free bakeries, but if you were talking about gluten-free and gluten in the same environment, it’s all about the policing.”
Food-to-go, he said, was a huge trend for retailers which had prompted Mono Equipment to develop a ‘compact range’ of convection ovens.
These smaller ovens, he said, were suited to smaller convenience stores, cafes, small restaurants – any store looking to bake or cook on premises.