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Independent Retail Bakers Are Being Swept Away By A Rising Tide Of Market Forces

September 29, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Concerned about eating a healthier diet, millions of bread and pastry lovers are avoiding independent retail bakeries, with devastating effect. In the Twin Cities, small independents are shutting down, as are larger chain outlets like Sara Lee/Taystee. According to the Retail Bakers of America, the number of stand-alone retail bakeries has plummeted from 30,000 in 1970 to 6,000 today. Industry experts point to a number of forces driving the trend, besides a growing health consciousness: consumer price sensitivity, a thinly spread retail market, consumer indifference to scratch-made baking and gluten sensitivity. "Retail bakeries are slowly going away," says one observer, "and there aren't as many bakers going into the business anymore."
John Ewoldt, "Competition, tight credit, diet trends force some Twin Cities bakeries to close", Star Tribune (Minneapolis, Minn.), September 29, 2013, © StarTribune
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