Not even fifteen days have passed of the eighth month of the year and the bread of the dead on the shelves of different stores, cafes and pastry shops is already a constant.

This traditional and long-awaited cake has become a factor among the players in the retail sector and although last year selling pan de muerto in August could be seen as a good strategy for some firms like Starbucks, this year things could be different.

Retail and restaurants on the edge

In principle, it is important to understand that restaurants, cafes and the retail sector are in a difficult time characterized by losses and declining sales.

According to the latest report delivered by the National Association of Self-service and Departmental Stores of Mexico (ANTAD), comparable sales of retail stores in the country registered a year-on-year drop of 91 percent during the month of July in nominal terms.

Although these figures translate into a comparable improvement, the truth is that it is still a significant collapse two months after the confinement measures began to relax.

Things have not been different for restaurants. To get the idea, it is enough to recognize what happens in the Mexican market, where in principle and according to a recent study signed by Fintonic revealed that, from the first case of coronavirus in Mexico, consumers reduced their spending in restaurants in 30.03 percent.

The previous scenario has brought millions in losses for these business units in the country. Estimates provided by Canirac, the coronavirus outbreak in the country has resulted in a 90 percent drop in sales and the closure of 30 percent of restaurants.

Desperate measure

In this way, and despite the fact that many of the players doubt these sectors maintained their activities even in the forties, the sale of pan de muerto in the middle of August is nothing more than a desperate measure to reactivate consumption, a strategy that the year The past was visible in the stocks of brands like Starbucks.

Just a year ago, the mermaid cafeterias surprised consumers with the launch of promotions related to their characteristic drinks accompanied with pan de muerto.

At that time, the brand was one of the first to cater to this “seasonal product”.

The reason was none other than the need to reactivate consumption in a year that, although it is far from being compared to the current one, looked complex in economic terms and was characterized by declining consumption numbers.

Now this strategy seems to be replicating, with the difference that more players are joining the trend.

A visit to the online stores of the main self-service chains or those that belong to price clubs is enough to identify that this product is already in their offer.

The same happens with cafes, patisseries and even some restaurants that have begun to echo this product that, in a purist way, would have to go on sale very early during the last fifteen days of October.

Generics in sight

Although for the consumer’s palate this news could be a treat, the truth is that in terms of strategy, one of the most successful techniques when selling is being lost.

The seasonal promotions that were related to the bread of death, simply began to be read as a generic act, where the phrase « it’s season of » has less and less meaning in consumption and consequently brands must strive to find these new products .

In this way, it is not surprising that many brands begin to generate their own seasonal proposals. Firms such as Dunkin ‘or Starbucks are a clear example of this and although it is not a bad strategy, the truth is that it further complicates the current situation where the commitment to new brands may not be the best option given the low income and the need to be profitable.