, India
Zonu Reddy, Co-founder of Spago Foods the operator of Magnolia Bakery India

How Magnolia Bakery brought its New York legacy to India

The brand quickly received a following after a cameo in a famous American sitcom.

One of Magnolia Bakery’s main strengths is its American-style desserts made from scratch without compromising quality. In India, the New York bakery managed to garner a following by maintaining the quality of its products from its roots whilst catering to the unique taste of the local market.

It also gained a following after the bakery had a 30-second cameo in an episode of the American sitcom Sex and the City.

In a quick chat with Zonu Reddy, Co-founder of Spago Foods the operator of Magnolia Bakery India, she describes how they differentiate the customer experience of Magnolia Bakery for its Indian customers, catering to the market’s unique taste and needs, and the brand’s future plans.

QSR Media: How would you describe the Magnolia Bakery customer experience in India compared to other countries where you have locations?

Zonu: Magnolia Bakery is a renowned bakery chain based in New York, which has expanded its presence to Bangalore and Hyderabad in India. The brand is famous for maintaining a consistent approach towards its products and customer service. To appeal more to the Indian market, Magnolia Bakery has incorporated local preferences into its dessert selections. An example of this is the introduction of plum cake for the first time ever in the Indian market by Magnolia Bakery for the festive season.

What steps has Magnolia Bakery taken to enhance the customer experience in its stores in India?

Magnolia Bakery India has perfected various aspects of customer service to enhance the experience. The bakery has a reputation for maintaining consistent quality in its desserts, as well as offering products tailored to local tastes and a highly-trained staff capable of meeting customer demand. Additionally, Magnolia Bakery has implemented efficient checkout procedures for both in-store shopping and e-retail, while strategically selecting locations across cities to ensure ease of travel. 

How has Magnolia Bakery adapted its menu to cater to the tastes and preferences of customers in India?

Magnolia Bakery serves classic American desserts, and all the products are standardised to ensure that the bakery provides the same high-quality experience across the globe. Keeping in mind the Indian audiences, Magnolia Bakery has introduced an eggless range of vegetarian products to cater to the needs of customers in the country. Using locally sourced ingredients and fruits, there is a range of Mango desserts that are created as a seasonal special as well. 

Can you share any success stories or examples of how Magnolia Bakery has gone above and beyond to provide a memorable customer experience for its customers in India?

Delighting customers with desserts made from scratch has been Magnolia Bakery’s forte for years. Using high-grade ingredients and creating fresh small batches ensures customers get the best brand value. The warm and welcoming atmosphere along with an array of baked goodies to choose from with a consistent taste creates lasting memories that draw patrons to visit more. 

Moreover, customers are offered to customise cakes and other desserts as per one’s occasion. Additionally, the bakery actively works on customer feedback and inquiries that add more brand credibility and builds a sense of community and connection between the brand and the customers. Thus, Magnolia Bakery India keeps the same approach and uniformity throughout.

How has Magnolia Bakery fared in terms of foot traffic and profitability in India, compared to your expectations?

When Magnolia Bakery opened its first flagship store in Bangalore, the bakery was pleasantly surprised to witness the enthusiastic response from customers towards the brand. The bakery has carried its legacy from New York to India and has become a symbol of American-style desserts, evoking a sense of nostalgia for some and curiosity for others. The brand's popularity amongst customers, especially those who associate it with the iconic show 'Sex and the City,' has been overwhelming.

Since the launch of Magnolia Bakery in India, foot traffic has been linear throughout the year, with a surge in demand during special occasions and the festive season. During these times, customers seek out gifting options for their loved ones, and the bakery has been able to cater to their needs with a diverse range of products. While footfalls may vary, Magnolia Bakery’s commitment to providing high-quality baked goods remains unwavering and shall continue to work towards offering the customers an exceptional hands-on experience with every visit.

What are Magnolia Bakery's plans for expansion and growth in India in 2023?

Following the success of Magnolia Bakery’s recent outpost in Hyderabad, the only store outside Bengaluru, the brand is now actively exploring opportunities to expand its footprint to other cities across India. The bakery has recognized the growing demand for high-quality baked goods in the country and is committed to bringing the Magnolia Bakery experience to as many customers as possible.

In what ways does Magnolia Bakery aim to differentiate itself from other bakeries and dessert shops in India?

Widely known for its unique American-style desserts, Magnolia Bakery marks a brand legacy that whips desserts from scratch without compromising their quality. With its roots in New York City, the brand fills the market gap by providing consistent fresh-batch dessert offerings across its various domestic and international stores. This approach acts as a critical differentiator for the brand compared to other bakery chains. Moreover, its exceptional customer service in providing memorable hands-on experiences is a pivotal source in making it a celebrated brand worldwide. 

Looking five years into the future, how does Magnolia Bakery envision itself in the Indian market and what steps will you take to achieve those goals?

In keeping pace with the overall digitalisation across markets, the bakery may focus more on diversifying its e-commerce and retail components while keeping consistency with its brand ethos and in-store customer experience. Also, leveraging improved & seamless technology across various customer touchpoints from enhancing ordering to delivery and payment experience while fostering one-on-one customer engagement. Moreover, expanding over strategic locations across major cities in pan-India would also be a part of the future checklist to tap into a wide range of audiences. 

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