The importance of being a data driven business

The importance of being a data driven business


“We want to know what truly drives the consumer”

Stephen Bates of Aryzta Bakeries Europe was one of our keynote speakers at the Taste Tomorrow event in Berlin. As Head of Insights he is a strong advocate of data driven business. He explains why and how they work with data at Aryzta. 

Having a deep understanding
Dr. Bates explains: "My job is to help Aryzta understand consumers, shoppers, customers and the bakery marketplace in which we operate, right across Europe. This helps ensure we offer the right products and services to match those demands for our customers. In order to do this, we need to deeply understand the bakery market across category."

Capturing trends
"There are lots of ways in which we assess trends. Aryzta buys into the relevant available EPOS data – which is really good for bakery in some countries and is less good in other countries - but we look at what we have very closely. We also conduct our own consumer research, investing a lot of time and effort into understanding what truly drives consumer and shopper behaviour, what are the right ranges, and how best to operationalise it all, in each country. In addition, we also look at other relevant external research, such as the Taste Tomorrow study by Puratos, which is always interesting."

Understanding differences between markets
Within Europe the bakery markets can be quite different: the segmentation is different and the trends are different across market and across category. Dr. Bates notes: "It is important that we understand the global trends, but also acknowledge the differences between and within regions and markets. We are putting all of our data and knowledge together into a market map, so we can fully understand this and the bakery market across Europe. This helps us advise our customers in a strategic partnership way. Puratos is doing something similar through its Taste Tomorrow research.” 

Being data driven
Dr. Bates explains how data is integrated internally: “Over the past two years, we have had a real focus on insights and innovation. We have increasingly become a data driven business. We present and communicate all the data and insights to our business and cascade it down from the top to operational teams, including to our Commercial colleagues so they can communicate key trends to our customers. We also work closely with our product development teams to ensure the products and innovations we develop always tie back to key insights.”

Operationalising the best ideas
“It is not only the hard numbers which help us decide what trends to embrace. Other factors are important as well. That’s why we also conduct qualitative research studies and undertake creative development sessions. For example, we recently ran a facilitated forum where over one hundred new ideas were generated. These were then narrowed down into a focused small number of practical operational product ideas, which we are now working on to launch. We operate with a classic innovation funnel, taking all of the data, all of the ideas, working through with practical and operational issues, and assessing these all through a series of gates, to choose those we believe will be best for our customers. Our in-country Commercial teams are then able to make all of that available to our customers.”

During our Taste Tomorrow event Stephen Bates also answered questions on the topic of variety.


The Taste Tomorrow research provides in depth insights into the consumer trends - globally and locally - in the baked goods industry. Starting this January, we will share the highlights of this study with you. Stay tuned for regular updates on the Taste Tomorrow website or our Puratos Facebook and LinkedIn pages.