How to Display Your Bakery Items


Running a bakery business is hard work, typically with many hours spent preparing product for baking. When your baked goods are ready to sell, it’s essential that they earn your customers’ attention. As the saying goes, your product needs to look “good enough to eat.” Presenting an attractive display is one way to garner that visual appeal from customers and passersby. Learn some practical and useful tips for displaying your bakery items in order to gain the biggest return for your business.

Choose a Display Case

Bakeries typically use bakery display cases to show off their goods to the public. This is one of the first things to purchase when you plan on selling your bakery items retail to customers. You can choose a dry bakery display case or refrigerated bakery display case, depending on the product that you wish to display.

Dry bakery display cases are meant for items that require no refrigeration. These are ideal choices for breads, pastries and. Often, pastries or desserts with fresh dairy components, such as whipped cream, custard or fruit topping require a refrigerated holding place. These are higher-end products that have high-quality yet easily perishable ingredients. Baked goods that include cheese or meat must also be refrigerated, such as ham and cheese croissants. Both types of display cases provide a secure method of high-volume merchandising for effective display. Bakery display cases are a must for keeping baked goods in a secure, clean environment until they are be purchased and consumed.

Learn More about the Differences Between Dry & Refrigerated Display Cases »

A Cake Being Pulled from a Bakery Case

Try a Display Stand

Although many bakery items are perfect when displayed in a bakery display case, others are better suited to tiered food display stands, cake stands or display pedestals. These types of display pieces are designed to elevate food and make it not only more noticeable, but also more appealing to guests. Choose from clear glass, plastic or metal display stands and pedestals.

Create a Scene of Abundance

Just about any type of baked treat, whether loaves of bread or chocolate chip cookies, look better when there are a lot of them all displayed together. When the bakery case or display stand only has a meager selection of items available, they become less appealing to the customer. Make sure your bakery display is fully stocked, or create the illusion of showing more than you have with mirrored walls inside the display case. You can also use smaller display schemes, such as smaller baskets overflowing with bread, or smaller display stands stacked and layered with brownies.

Cupcakes on Tiered Display

Provide Signage

Post signs on or near your baked goods to let your customers know just what it is that is making their mouths water. Try a card holder or displayette to provide labels for breads, cookies or other treats. Include pricing on these labels makes it more convenient for the customer to calculate the cost of her purchase. Otherwise be sure to clearly state prices for all items on a menu board behind the counter.

Consider Using Color

Think about what color your baked goods are, and what colors might complement them. For instance, many baked items are brown, cream-colored, tan or golden in color. Although the items will probably look appetizing anyway, choosing colors to complement baked goods can be a smart move. Color theory suggests that warmer colors such as reds, oranges, yellows and browns can help to stimulate the appetite. Backing your baked goods with colored cloth, colored display stands or even colorful décor like faux flowers or beads can act to enhance the natural appeal of your bakery items. Many establishments stick to a certain color scheme. In this case, using these colors to display your goods makes sense as well.

Try Cross-Merchandising

Chances are that your bakery items go well with other products. For example, people often eat bagels with cream cheese, and a cup of coffee is delicious alongside a fresh breakfast pastry. Take advantage of these food pairings and visibly display one next to the other. This is known as cross-merchandising. This can do wonders for increasing sales and whetting appetites for your baked goods. It also provides customers with a practical accompaniment.

Display the Ingredients

Another way to highlight your bakery display is to feature the special ingredients in your baked goods. For example, you may choose to display a cluster of berries next to your berry tarts, or an attractive bunch of fresh herbs next to your basil and garlic focaccia bread. When customers see these clues as to what went into your baked items, they cannot help but consider the delicious flavors and textures these ingredients bring to the table.

Bread on Display

Use Lighting Carefully

The purpose of lighting an object is to make it more appealing. Usually bakery display cases have some sort of lighting built in to accentuate the goods by enhancing colors and overall appearance. Lighting can add life to your bakery display, as long as you do not over- or under-light the most important areas. Customers should be able to easily see textures and colors without straining. Be careful of using hanging light fixtures that may spotlight the item and wash it out under too much light. These types of lights may also produce excessive radiant heat, warming the item warming the item and potentially drying it out or disturbing its consistency. Instead, go with ambient light, such as from a fluorescent light in a bakery case, or make use of daylight through windows whenever available.

Keep Everything Clean

Keeping things looking neat, clean and fresh is an essential aspect of displaying your bakery items. Cookies need to look soft and fresh. There should be no visible grease stains on tissue paper, nor excessive crumbling on display platters. Use fresh wax paper or tissue paper below your pastries and cookies so that everything looks as fresh as possible. As far as bread goes, you are likely only displaying fresh product, but if not, there should be no sign of mold on the crust. Additionally, be sure that all glass surfaces on the bakery display cases are clean and free of fingerprints. Keep an eye out for flies and other invading pests. A fly taking a rest on top of a cupcake can be a big turnoff to any customer.


About Author


  1. This post is incredibly helpful! I am just starting up a bakery, and I would really like to be sure that we have some good displays. That way, people will be able to come in and look at what we have, which will hopefully help them decide to buy something. I really like the idea of a display case, because then we can have everything together. Since most of our pastries have chilled fruits or whipped cream in them, it might be best to get a really big refrigerated display case, just to be sure that they don’t go bad. Thanks for the great thoughts!

  2. I’m so glad you included the tip to provide signage. One of my favorite bakeries has a hard time labeling their cupcakes. It makes it kind of difficult when I have to point at every cupcake that looks good and ask what kind it is, and I’m sure that gets old for the person behind the counter as well.

  3. They way that you display your company’s products can be a major factor for advertising that will influence sales. You make a great point about how creating a scene of abundance can help you sell more goods. Psychologically, many people don’t want to be the person to take the last cookie or cupcake on display. You also make a great point about how implementing color into your displays and box packaging can help to brand your business. Thanks for all of your helpful tips.

Leave A Reply