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11/08/2021

United Dairy Farmers Revamps Bakery Operations During Pandemic

The reinvention process saw 20 items available at all locations with seven-day-a-week delivery and zero head count loss.

NORWOOD, Ohio United Dairy Farmers (UDF) turned the negatives of the COVID-19 pandemic into positives by completely reinventing its baked goods operations.

The retailer partnered with Fresh Innovation Center to revisit its recipes and logistics, recalibrating its baking and packaging methods, as well as its distribution practices, to best ensure the fastest delivery and most delicious products from oven to shelf, according to the company.

During this time, UDF avoided layoffs due to the coronavirus as so many staff were involved in the reimagining process, all while eclipsing the 10 million units sold milestone since introducing fresh doughnuts in October 2019.

"Freshness, innovation and convenience are core to our United Dairy Farmers heritage," said UDF co-owner and Senior Vice President of Retail David Lindner. "Even with the pandemic slowdown, we continued investment and expansion of our capabilities at the bakery while continuing our recipe development to create the ideal fresh cookies and brownie products for our stores and our guests."

As a result, the reinvention process saw 20 unique baked and fried items available at all locations; seven-day-a-week delivery to all 177 stores in the region; and zero head count loss.

"Customers seem to really like the new products, and we have made them easy to find with a dedicated display," said UDF Bakery Category Manager Chuck Kronyak. "Over the last three weeks we have seen unit sales growth of over 16%, which we attribute to the addition of new varieties, daily delivery and some return to more normal commuter patterns."

Among the 20 products available in UDF retail stores include:

  • Blueberry muffins;
  • Cinnamon rolls;
  • Cookies (candy, chocolate chunk, Snickerdoodle and white chocolate macadamia nut);
  • Doughnuts (classic glazed, jelly filled, Bavarian cream, chocolate glaze, devil's food cake, kettle and Long John, plus the Buckeye doughnut during the autumn season);
  • Doughnut holes (glazed chocolate, glazed confetti and glazed sour cream);
  • Double chocolate chunk brownies;
  • Double chocolate muffins; and
  • Glazed croissants.

Founded more than 80 years ago, Norwood-based United Dairy Farmers operates 177 stores across Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.