Make Your Snack Business a Success!

The right concept for every business model – and the right equipment

It has long been rumoured that a well thought-out snack concept not only significantly raises the purchase amount listed on the average receipt and speeds up the periods of slower turnover, it also improves business as a whole. When it gets down to the nitty-gritty, however, all sorts of questions arise before you can successfully make the leap into the snack business. We provide guidance through the jungle of snack products to snack bakers and those looking to become established in this area. And we show you which equipment best fits your business model.

Just like with conventional bakery products, a variety of factors determine the success or failure of a snack business concept: The product range, quantities and qualities, staff and space requirements, location and target audience, but also logistics and equipment – to name only the most important aspects – all play a crucial role. They mutually affect each other in a rather complex interaction and therefore allow a variety of promising concepts in very different constellations.

Depending on the individual circumstances (and therefore a reasonable starting point is a thorough analysis of the current situation, the framework conditions and the objectives), there is no doubt that a successful concept can be developed for almost every use case. As a MIWE customer, you have several advantages, because alongside expert advice we can also offer you the most comprehensive range of thermal “snack machines” for all applications from a single source.

The basis of the snack business is products that can be sold as a quick snack immediately after baking – without further processing.

Snacks from a bakery perspective

As a snack supplier, bakers generally start from an extremely favourable starting position. For good reason, they have enjoyed a good reputation and confidence in their snack expertise among consumers for years. With their baked goods, they also have a wonderful base of ready-to-eat products or ones that are ideal to be refined into snacks.

According to a common definition, baked goods that are perfect snack products even without further processing are considered baked snacks.

To this group belong several bakery products which were originally not intended as snacks, but which have long since made a career out of being a break-time snack as a companion to a cappuccino or coke or as take-away or on-the-go food (from croissants to soft pretzels).

And of course the category of baked snacks also includes baked goods that were specifically developed for the snack business: Specially filled products (dumplings, croissants or rolls e. g. with ham-cheese-pineapple filling), products with spicy toppings (pizza, tarte flambée etc., and savoury tray-baked topped breads e. g. with vegetable topping) or those with savoury ingredients that are baked in the dough (e. g. rolls, sticks, croissants with ham, cheese, salami cubes, herbs). Products from this category are sold either cold or after being quickly crisped for immediate consumption.

In addition to baked snacks, grilled snacks are another important success factor in the snack business: Bread rolls, baguettes and ciabatta halves or sliced toast, topped for instance with tomatoes and mozzarella, ham and cheese, tuna or spicy spreads and then baked.

The third category of bakery snacks is sandwiches, and depending on where you live, you’ll be thinking of a caprese panini, a BLT sandwich, a Reuben, a bocadillo de queso or a jambon beurre. Even the simplest processing or refinement of baked raw materials can generate an extensive range of snacks. For example: With only three basic baked goods (bread roll, ciabatta, baguette) in combination with three toppings (salami, cheese, ham), we already have nine different snacks. With four baked goods and four toppings, we have 16. With a little imagination and maybe a certain degree of generosity in measuring out the ingredients, we have sales-friendly, modern interpretations of snacks that can be “individualistically” labelled to make your product stand out more.

Gastronomically ambitious snack bakers and the operators of related food service concepts are of course not only focusing on their range of baked goods, but are also expanding their assortment especially with regard to midday and evening business (depending on opening hours …) with non-bakery (warm) foods, e. g. soups, pasta, egg, meat or fish dishes, roasts, casseroles, etc.

The range of possibilities is immense in any case. At the same time, it leads us to the question of how best to organize all of this in the interaction between your (own) central production and the outlets.

Baked snacks can be sold directly.
Products that need to be baked again after "refinement" are more complex.
With sandwiches, you can create countless variations with just a few ingredients.
Gastronomically ambitious snack bakers extend their assortment to midday and evening business.

Convenience levels of snack-making

As we have done for baking (where we refer to the MIWE Convenience Levels MCS), we have also summarized the conceivable organizational forms of central production, logistics and decentralized production into levels, the so-called snack levels, for the food service and snack business. And just like there, the greater the number of the convenience level, the greater the level of “convenience” of the mode of production, thus reducing the effort required in the outlet. In the following overview, we consciously focus on baked goods. However, the levels apply analogously to non-bakery snacks.

In Snackstufe 0 ist der Arbeitsanteil in der Filiale am höchsten: Backwaren werden halbgebacken (andere Snack-Produkte küchen- oder zubereitungsfertig) angeliefert. Alle weiteren Arbeitsschritte (z.B. Backen, Füllen, Veredeln, Belegen und/oder Garnieren) erfolgen in der Filiale. Das erhöht u.a. den Raum- und Personalaufwand in der Filiale je nach Snack-Volumen ganz erheblich, lässt aber die Konsumenten auch die frische Zubereitung der Produkte am unmittelbarsten miterleben.

The portion of work in the outlet is highest at snack level 0: Baked goods are parbaked (other snack products are delivered ready for use or preparation.) All further steps (e. g. baking, filling, refining, topping and / or garnishing) are carried out in the outlet. This considerably increases the space and personnel costs in the outlet, depending on the volume of snacks, but also brings consumers closest to the freshly prepared products.

At snack level 1, baked goods are delivered ready-baked and then refined or topped at the outlet either to build up stocks or according to demand. The baking effort is eliminated.

Toppings can be pre-produced centrally (deli-meats in a lettuce leaf); however, the final touch is given in the shop.

Conversely, snack level 2 is when the snacks are delivered (practically as convenience products) fully prepared from central production, but are typically freshly baked in the outlet (and then stored, for example, in a heated display case) or, at least, are heated at the customer’s request. This includes the majority of the products listed above among the baked or grilled snacks.

Umgekehrt liegt Snackstufe 2 vor, wenn die Snacks zwar (praktisch als Convenience-Produkte) fertig aus der Zentralproduktion angeliefert werden, aber typischerweise in der Filiale frisch gebacken (und dann z.B. in einer Warmhaltevitrine gelagert) oder auf Kundennachfrage hin beim Verkauf zumindest erhitzt werden. Hierzu zählt der Großteil der oben unter den gebackenen oder überbackenen Snacks geführten Produkte.

Snacks in snack level 3 generate the least amount of effort in the outlet: Here, the snack is delivered completely pre-produced from the central production and, if required, heated again briefly at the customer’s request.

The various thermal processes of the snack bakery

You may well have noticed: In all three snack levels, thermal processes play a role, from baking at snack level 0 to the customer-friendly quick heating of a fully pre-produced snack at snack level 3, not to mention the cooking process required if you also want to enter the world of non-baked snacks.

Snacks are impulse purchases. The impression of freshness and how the snacks are arranged are relevant to success!

As a snack baker, be sure to avoid thinking that heat only plays a minor role in snack production. Spontaneity is a characteristic of the snack business; in other words, snacks are typically impulse purchases. Therefore, in addition to their appearance and the way in which the goods are put on display (are the toppings clearly visible?) the impression of freshness is particularly relevant to success. And heat is not only a unique signal of freshness but is also known to intensify the flavour.

The various thermal processes of the snack bakery

In the table above, we have listed the thermal processes used in the snack bakery along with the processes or products with which they are commonly used. As you can see, with today’s MIWE baking stations, you can not only master all the methods you need for the snack bakery, but since they also represent all scales (see next image below) you can therefore assemble the right components to perfectly meet your needs and your process mix.

You will be pleased that, for example, all components of the Fresh Food System MIWE cube have the same footprint and can therefore be stacked on top of each other in various combinations. This also applies to the individual variants of MIWE gusto. As you can see, this side of the snack business is not that complicated.

All these MIWE baking stations are perfectly suitable for snacks (and capable of far more, of course). May we introduce? From left to right: MIWE gusto, MIWE gusto:snack, MIWE cube in two different configurations, MIWE econo and MIWE aero.

Incidentally, our gastronomically trained application engineers are always there for you if you are on the lookout for the most suitable concept for you – even beyond mere oven technology.

After all, we want you to be successful in the snack business.

A hot combination: The Fresh Food System MIWE cube

Our Fresh Food System MIWE cube ensures that you are ideally equipped for all your tasks in the snack business. It can be configured completely freely – in other words you can adjust the selection and combination of modules perfectly to your own individual needs. Do you offer tarte flambée or pizza in your branch? How about a combination of the convection oven module MIWE cube:air and the MIWE cube:fire, which rivals any pizza oven with its 350°C temperature?

Our smallest yet still perfect all-rounder

Where space is in short supply or large capacities are not required, our MIWE gusto:snack is a popular choice. Not only is it an extremely compact, fully-fledged convection oven – thanks to its QuickServe technology and special grill plate, it can magically prepare oven-fresh, crispy snacks in less than three minutes. Need inspiration? You can download recipe cards from our website.


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