Does your bakery sell dough?

Home baking may be rooted in America’s vision of the holidays, but many consumers are pressed for time and can’t make fancy holiday treats from scratch. Buying finished, unbaked dough allows them to enjoy your high-quality products while still filling their homes with the warm scents of gingerbread or butter rolls — and even express some creativity without making quite such a mess of their kitchens. For consumers, it’s a win-win scenario.

Want to give dough sales a try? Here are a few ideas to start with, all holiday-friendly:

  1. Sugar cookie dough: a versatile classic, package this dough with a few different cookie ideas your customers can make with it. Real Simple has ten suggestions here, but beyond its versatility, sugar cookie dough also makes a great canvas for kids — and parents are always looking for holiday activities they can do with kids who are home from school. Go even further by hosting a cookie decorating class or party for kids and their parents at your bakery.

    snowflake sugar cookies with icing

    Sugar cookie dough is versatile and easy for home bakers to work with.

  2. Gingerbread cookie dough: another great candidate for entertaining kids (gingerbread men!), package it with gingerbread-man cutters and small candies for decorating the figures. Run a social media photo contest and ask parents to submit photos of their kids’ (or their own) decorated gingerbread men, and offer prizes for winners.
  3. Dinner rolls or biscuits: holiday dinners cry out for rolls; few customers will have time to make rolls while also making a roast and side dishes, but hot rolls are so much more enticing than cold, aren’t they? With rolls they can pop into the oven and bake in a few minutes while the rest of the holiday feast is getting wrapped up, your customers can have wonderfully hot, fresh rolls without adding to their overloaded kitchen schedule. Package dinner roll dough with recipes for herb or honey butter, a classic checked towel to wrap them in when they’re baked, even a gift basket that will double as a bread basket and make the dough an appealing hostess gift.

    Rolls are quick to bake and so enticing when they're hot and fresh.

    Rolls are quick to bake and so enticing when they’re hot and fresh.

Whatever you try, don’t forget to include baking directions (and advice against eating raw dough!), and, most importantly, an invitation to customers to share their results on your social media pages. Encourage them to use your Twitter handle or a special hashtag, and put up the best photos in your bakery where customers can see them. Your repeats will enjoy a sense of accomplishment at seeing their work featured at your bakery, and your new customers will quickly understand both the value of the product and the value of your commitment to your community.

Let us know how it goes!