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Here are the baked goods that people have been enjoying most in COVID-19 isolation

In honour of World Baking Day on 17th May, we take a look at the baked goods that Aussies have been enjoying most from their local cafes during April. We discovered the products that they’ve found most comforting during this time of isolation and working from home by looking at our data, which has been analysed from thousands of transactions across hundreds of Square Sellers in Australia.

Throughout the month of April 2020, we found a clear winner as the most popular baked good in Australia during iso…

Our favourite baked treats

Croissants were the clear standout at 36% of transactions, with bread (20%) and cakes (13%) rounding out the top three fan favourites across the country in April. Despite the homemade bread trend during isolation, it seems that people are still supporting their local cafes to buy delicious, freshly baked bread and get their favourite treats. Less people turned to tarts (5%) or brownies (5%) at their local cafes and bakeries.

How much are you paying for croissants

While the favoured french pastry was the top performer in most major cities, the price varied greatly depending on where you live. South Australians forked out the most for this sweet treat, with the average price of a croissant in Adelaide coming in at $6.90 — more than a dollar higher than what Queenslanders are paying, with $5.80 as the going rate in Brisbane.

We spoke to a few of our top bakers in the Square Seller community to get some insights into their best selling items, check in on how their business has been impacted, and - of course - ask for their top tips for us at-home bakers looking to sharpen our craft.

KOI baked goods

Ronald Poernomo, KOI Dessert Bar

How has your business been impacted by COVID-19?
Like any other hospitality businesses, we have very much been impacted. Basically our revenue fell about 80% from our normal trading. However, we utilised Square’s online platform to streamline our pickups and delivery offering.

How have people been buying their baked goods? And what’s been selling well?
At the moment 90% of the transactions happen online via our online store and we’ve definitely seen more pickups. In general all our cakes are performing really well.

Have you noticed any particular trends in the baking world over the past couple of months?
We do sell a lot of baked goods such as breads, brownies and cookies. However with us, our main offerings are delicate desserts and this is something that is quite unique compared to the baked goods.

What is your best piece of advice for novice pastry chefs?
Find your unique offering that sets you aside from other pastry chefs and get creative!

Gateaux by Marc Frissard

Kathleen Stewart, Gateaux By Marc Frissard

Has your business been busy since the state shutdown due to COVID-19?
Our business has been constant due to the continued support of our local community, which we are grateful for. With people self-isolating and being locked indoors, picking up a special treat, be it a croissant or a cake, has become a quick escape for people who are bored at home.

What has been your best-selling item over this period and are any other items more popular than usual?
Our biggest seller, as always, is our plain and almond croissants which are a crowd favourite and great comfort food during this tough time. We have also been selling more breads and scones than we usually would as well.

What is your best piece of advice for novice pastry chefs?
Pastry chefs must be disciplined, precise, accurate, persistent and creative, and you need to display all of these attributes through your work and creations.

Bread Club

Brice Antier, Bread Club

Has your business been busy since the COVID-19 restrictions have come into effect?
Yes, we are a new business that only opened in January but we have seen a positive response from our awesome local community. During a time when hospitality as a whole has been hit so hard, we have been spared as an essential service and have had the pleasure of being a place where people can come for their daily sanity ritual. Importantly we have also been able to maintain the employment of our hardworking team.

How has customer behaviour changed towards buying baked goods?
We have definitely adapted our operating model. We closed our dine-in set up and only allowed two people in the shop at a time, so we created a delivery option for the local area which was also to service those who didn’t feel comfortable or couldn’t make it into the store.

Have you noticed any particular trends in the baking world during COVID-19 shutdown period?
There has definitely been an increased interest in sourdough baking. We have loved watching our customers making their own creations and learning more about the craft of baking sourdough.

What is your best piece of advice for novice pastry chefs?
Pay attention to and learn the techniques while you are following recipes or instructions - this will grow your skills and that way you can start to take chances on substitution and you can develop new recipes with more confidence. Don’t be disheartened if your bake doesn’t turn out the same as the picture or the video of the recipe you are following in the first go, the person who is instructing you has probably done it hundreds of times!