According to Délifrance’s recently launched a new bread report Prove It: Breaking Bread, the UK’s £7.8bn bread market will grow by 15% to reach a value of £9bn by 2026.

But while there’s a huge opportunity for growth, retailers and operators must have one eye on current and future trends if they are to thrive in this dynamic and ever-changing market.

As revealed in the report, the three key trends driving growth in the bread category include demand for specialty breads, products using clean label and regeneratively farmed ingredients, and bread that offers health benefits or caters to specialist diets.

“This correlates with consumer preferences, with taste (41%) and freshness (44%) being key drivers of bread consumption,” comments Stéphanie Brillouet, Marketing Director, Délifrance. “And, more than half (52%) of consumers say they choose where to buy their bread based on the quality of products sold, that’s despite the pressure of the cost-of-living crisis.”

Driven by growing consumer demand for quality and more premium loaves, independent bakeries, supermarket in-store-bakeries and OOH operators are increasingly offering handcrafted and higher-end bread products.

This has led to the rollout of authentic long-fermentation bread, the use of a variety of grains and flours, premium inclusions and the introduction of less common formats and bread styles. For example, Italian breads, breads of the world, rye and sourdough.

Délifrance recently revealed its newest bread range, ‘PanItaly’, following a strong increase in demand for specialty Italian food and drink products.

According to the company’s latest research, 40% of consumers prefer specialty breads when at home, and over half seek them when dining out.

With consumers looking for bread experiences beyond the familiar, and Italian cuisine a firm favourite with Brits, Délifrance has tapped into its Italian expertise to meet this demand.

“Made in Italy using traditional baking techniques such as Biga, the ‘PanItaly’ range is made up of superior-quality Italian bread,” adds Brillouet. “This allows retailers and operators to easily access this growing market. There is a wide range of products including firm favourites Ciabatta, Focaccia and Panini, offering an authentic taste experience to entice consumers, and a versatility that makes it suitable for several occasions throughout the day.”

Josh Corrigan, Customer Development Director, UK, at St Pierre Groupe comments on behalf of the Baker Street brand: “The clear trend in bread and bakery is that shoppers are continuing to buy at scale, making this category very important in these outlets, both in sales terms and as a driver of store traffic.

“With shelf space under pressure to perform, retailers are looking for products that will sell well and give good margins. Meanwhile their customers are increasingly looking for breads for everyday eating that offer a point of difference, as well as innovative products that enhance meal occasions. A further key point for retailers to be aware of is that during their visit, these shoppers also purchase across other categories.”

The cost-of-living crisis means people are being more careful with their money and seeking out bakery products that deliver simultaneously on interest, quality and value.

The winning combination of Baker Street’s ‘fakeaway’ appeal and its fresher for longer proposition means it delivers on all counts to cash-cautious consumers and strengthens the attraction of the bakery section in stores with a large element of shoppers from the local community.

At the same time, shoppers on the go are also major buyers of bread and bakery from these retailers, and they in turn are seeking bread and baked goods that offer a point of difference, as well as innovative products that enhance their meal occasions.

The Baker Street brand’s extended life benefits make it especially important to both out of home customers and consumers shopping local.

“Retailers should offer a spread of bakery products – traditional sliced bread for every day, speciality breads, such as rye, burger buns and hot dog rolls,” adds Corrigan. “Bread products that offer both convenience and taste are a key purchase driver, as shoppers look for simple and affordable ways to achieve a healthy balanced diet. Traditional sliced loaves remain a key staple for the vast majority of households, due to their versatility and convenience – particularly in the morning when time is limited.”

Apart from the continued success of sourdough, many consumers are making the switch back to sliced white bread. Increased consumer interest in healthy eating is a further contributor to Baker Street’s growth, and rye breads have benefitted from growing demand for healthy alternatives. Sales of burger buns and rolls have also benefitted from the consumer trend for ‘Americana’ that has crossed over from foodservice as shoppers continue to eat well at home.

“Attitudes towards extended life bread and bakery products are changing,” says Corrigan. “With inflation continuing to rise and household energy bills and fuel costs increasing, local shoppers will continue to appreciate great tasting bread, that they can rely on to be there when they need it and passing customers will also be looking for products they can rely on.”

Baker Street’s best-selling products are its core range, its Sliced White and Sliced Brown bread, Seeded Rye and Rye & Wheat loaves and Burger Buns and Hot Dog Rolls.

Baker Street’s sliced white and brown loaves are important to retailers. They offer both convenience and taste, and are a key purchase driver, as consumers look for simple and affordable ways to achieve a healthy balanced diet. Growth in its Sliced White and Sliced Brown variants is steady, but the real growth has come from Baker Street’s healthier rye bread range. Both Rye SKUs are performing strongly, with Seeded Rye up 81 per cent on last year and Rye & Wheat up 16 per cent (IRI, All Retail, UK sales, 7th October 2023), thanks to new listings with UK retailers keen to offer a broader range to shoppers. The Baker Street Rye range’s extended life allows retailers to offer a broader range to shoppers without the concerns around increased wastage, which makes Baker Street a great – and less risky way – to introduce new products to shoppers.

Baker Street’s range of Classic Burger Buns and Original Hot Dog Rolls is driving sales for the brand, with sales up 82 per cent in value sales in the last 52 weeks (IRI, All Retail, UK sales to 7th October 2023). Sales of Baker Street’s Mega Burger Buns and Jumbo Hot Dog Rolls have increased by 53 per cent and 140 per cent respectively (IRI, All Retail, UK sales to 7th October 2023). Growth is thanks to increased distribution as retailers look to meet consumer demand, and shoppers look to adopt larger portions for growing occasions like the big night in.

“Baker Street’s Burger Buns and Hot Dog Rolls can be used for a host of tasty meals from breakfast, lunch and through to dinner,” suggests Corrigan. “Baker Street has also benefitted from the consumer trend for ‘Americana’ that has crossed over from foodservice as shoppers continue to eat well at home. Increasingly, shoppers are using bakery staples outside of the traditional ‘burger,’ ‘hotdog’ or ‘BBQ season,’ but with the summer upon us, now is the time for stores to offer their customers a wide choice of these products.”

Baker Street’s burger buns and hot dog rolls also offer extended shelf-life, appealing to retailers and shoppers alike, whilst the marketing of the brand demonstrates their versatility across multiple meal occasions, which offers added value.

Baker Street is a brand sustaining growth, despite another challenging year for the bakery category. The brand is up 27 per cent year on year (IRI, All Retail, UK sales to 7th October 2023), thanks to increased distribution via the UK’s major multiple retailers, a consumer desire for ‘super-sized’ meals and continued success in the independent sector thanks to the brand’s long-life proposition. Consumers are looking for simple and affordable ways to achieve a healthy balanced diet. At the same time, despite financial pressures, shoppers are still keen to treat themselves well at home and are investing in brands that consistently deliver on quality.

“Retailers can maximise their bakery offer and at the same time minimise waste by stocking the Baker Street brand, which is in long-term growth and is a must-stock for retailers,” adds Corrigan. “The Burger Buns and Hot Dog Rolls, which are cleverly packed to stay fresher for longer, are performing well as they meet consumer needs around creating impromptu take away classics which can be easily handled, whilst helping to reduce food waste. They also cater for the whole family and multiple meal occasions – something that is a very attractive proposition to consumers.”

Rachel Wells, Commercial Director at St Pierre Groupe comments on behalf of the St Pierre brand: “The bakery category continues to benefit from consumers choosing premium options, as they look for ways to treat themselves well at home, and on the move – which creates opportunity for stores. The move towards premiumisation shows no sign of slowing and quality brands like St Pierre give consumers an opportunity to ‘trade up’ and elevate everyday meals, such as gourmet burgers, hot dogs, and French toast.”

In the cost-of-living crisis, our desire for affordable treats is even more pronounced, and indulgence is another trend gaining traction as many embrace the little pick-me-ups that we all need from time to time. Hence retailers’ bakery sales will continue to benefit from offering a mix of indulgence and impulse buys. Food is more than just a meal on your plate, and there is a strong argument for ‘everything in moderation’.

“Retailers’ customers are increasingly looking for products that deliver simple indulgence,” adds Wells. “Stores can cater for this demand by stocking ranges that ‘upgrade’ their bakery offerings from traditional staples to something more premium. Consumers know that consistent quality that elevates a meal to restaurant-quality is worth it, especially when the additional cost is a pound or less. Brioche is one key way to do this, and St Pierre’s bestselling brioche rolls and buns range is an ideal base for enhancing burger and hot dog recipes, while their morning goods are perfect for enhancing retailers’ food to go sweet treat selections.”

A further trend is the wish to reduce food waste, both in store and at home. St Pierre products also offer extended shelf life and help retailers and shoppers alike reduce wastage.

Two major growth areas in bakery are croissants, and rolls – especially from St Pierre.

“Vegans and vegetarians are both increasing in numbers,” says Wells. “St Pierre is achieving outstanding year on year brand growth, because we are also offering products that meet demand. We are continuously reviewing our product formulas to ensure we are offering the best quality products. As a result, we have launched a new recipe on our 8 pack of St Pierre Croissants and Pains au Chocolat. Not only is the recipe a new, improved formulation, but it also means that these breakfast treats will cater to vegans.”

The St Pierre snacking and food to go range comprises of Caramel Waffles, Millionaires Waffle, Butter Croissants, Chocolate Filled Croissants, Brioche Waffles, and Belgian Waffles with Butter, whilst its multipack offerings include Brioche Swirls, Chocolate Chip Brioche Swirls, Brioche Rolls, Chocolate Chip Brioche Rolls, Chocolate Filled Crepes, Vegan Croissants, and Vegan Pains au Chocolat, Belgian Waffles with Butter, and Belgian Waffles with Chocolate Chips.

St Pierre is adept at developing products that cater to multiple meal occasions, but highlighted breakfast as an area of focus heading in to 2023. As a result, St Pierre is the fastest-growing brand in morning goods (Nielsen, Value Sales L52 weeks to 3rd June 2023). Increased distribution on its multipack range of Brioche Swirls, Chocolate Chip Brioche Swirls and Chocolate-filled crepes has driven sales growth of 229 per cent, 278 per cent and 264 per cent, respectively, in the last year (IRI, All Retail, UK sales to October 7th, 2023).

Bread and baked goods aren’t just about breakfast items, of course, and the growing popularity of brioche is thanks in part, to its versatility, which extends to rolls and buns. The St Pierre brand now has four brioche bun and hot dog roll products featuring in the Top 12 value rankings. The St Pierre Brioche Buns (6 pack), St Pierre Brioche Hot Dog Rolls and St Pierre Seeded Brioche Burger Buns (4 pack) are performing incredibly well, all pre-sliced for convenience and benefiting from an extended shelf life to help reduce in and out of home wastage.

St Pierre’s core range of brioche burger buns and hot dog rolls has continued to fly this year as shoppers embrace premium options that allow for easy upgrades to at-home menus. Its Seeded Brioche Burger Buns are up 84 per cent, its Brioche Burger Buns are up 164 per cent and Brioche Hot Dog Rolls are up 68 per cent in the last year (IRI, All Retail, UK sales to October 7th, 2023) as they cater to the current consumer trend for more spontaneous in-home entertaining.

“St Pierre Brioche Bun sales continue to increase – and that growth isn’t just driven by people eating burgers,” continues Wells. “We know that consumers are enjoying our products for breakfast, lunch and dinner, because we are offering an affordable luxury. Despite the current challenges, consumers will still opt for quality products from trusted brands, to treat themselves well at home, whilst less likely to spend on dining out or travelling.”

St Pierre is achieving outstanding year on year brand growth because the brand is also offering products that meet demand.

Its latest launches are St Pierre Belgian Waffles with Butter and St Pierre Belgian Waffles with Chocolate Chips, which we launched in Q3 last year (2023). All St Pierre’s new products are driven by insight, in response to the huge role that premiumisation is playing in the bakery category, and the demand for premium products that is now being felt across all subsectors.

“This product launch is exciting for us – it’s brand new to our product range, and it’s a new format too, giving real on-shelf standout,” adds Wells. “More importantly, however, the quality of our Belgian Waffles is second-to-none. St Pierre is all about elevating the everyday, and waffles are not traditionally seen as a premium product. What we have managed to do, is offer a premium solution in a category that is growing in value at 14 per cent annually (L52 Weeks Nielsen Total Coverage to 11.03.23), but will no doubt be helped by the addition of these innovative new products.”

Waffle consumption increased in 2020 with the arrival of lockdown and greater demand for variety in breakfast and at-home snacking. Those consumers are still looking for elevated meals and new St Pierre Belgian Waffles will appeal to the increased number of adults looking for indulgence. The brand is offering a convenient product that’s versatile, perfect in savoury and sweet recipes whether at-home or on-the-go, and all without compromising on superior quality and fantastic taste – the benchmark of the St Pierre brand. For retailers, the launch of the multipack waffle is key because it can help bolster sales of the food to go range.

St Pierre is a brand going from strength to strength, more than doubling overall sales in the last year with growth of 107 per cent in UK value sales, but perhaps more impressively, 56 per cent in volume – bucking the wider category trends once again (IRI, UK Market to 07/10/2023).

The growth in more premium categories is being driven by brands like St Pierre. Private label volume is flat in Brioche, Croissants and Pains au Chocolat, demonstrating that St Pierre is driving premiumisation in the categories it plays in. In all of these subsectors, St Pierre is significantly up in terms of value, but most impressively in the current climate, it is also showing volume growth.

As a result, the brand is up 78 per cent in volume and 104 per cent in value within the morning goods category. This is down to dedicated marketing, increased distribution and a great working relationship with its retail and wholesale partners.

“Retailers wanting to minimise waste in bread and bakery should stock the St Pierre range of morning goods and brioche rolls and buns,” advises Wells. “These offer an extended shelf-life, which helps stores reduce wastage with time-sensitive products and is resulting in growth across the board, as they are increasingly popular with retailers watching their costs and margins. Such products also enable retailers to provide a strong bakery offering throughout the year, minimising the risk of wastage.”

“Retailers should focus their sweet bakery, rolls and buns offerings around St Pierre’s bestselling lines and put our brand power to work in their stores with our merchandising material and talk to us about running promotions,” suggests Wells.

“Offering a full range of brand-led bakery items will continue to be a sure way for stores in all locations to keep customers coming back. In these tough times, people need treats. St Pierre’s morning goods are designed to help shoppers recreate the café culture wherever they are – at home or on-the-move, so they can be merchandised on a bakery fixture, in a food-to-go area or alongside other sweet treats, like cakes.”

Brioche adds something special to burger buns and hot dog rolls, and when shoppers are thinking of having a BBQ or a big night in, seeing the market leading St Pierre Brioche Buns and Hot Dog Rolls there on the bakery fixture will prompt them to buy.

Consistent brand building in trade spaces plays a key role, as retailers want to offer trusted brands. St Pierre support its retail customers with a strong promotional calendar backed by high-profile marketing campaigns. St Pierre also provides stand-out branded packaging that helps increase brand awareness in store. This helps to drive margins for retailers, whilst its longer shelf life protects them from wastage, which is all important in the current climate.

“Clearly, there is opportunity for retailers to drive interest in the fixture with innovative merchandising which increases dwell time and ultimately, sales,” adds Wells. “We are looking forward to working with our retail partners in 2024 to further improve merchandising, taking learnings around cross-merchandising and dual-siting and applying them to the UK market.”

Doug Hall, Sales Director at BakeAway, comments: “As a prominent player in the bakery category, BakeAway recognises the immense value it brings to the grocery industry. With a market worth estimated at £5 billion, the bakery segment continues to demonstrate robust growth, driven by evolving consumer preferences and lifestyle trends. At BakeAway, we attribute this growth to several key factors, including the increasing demand for convenience, indulgence, and healthier options in baked goods.”

BakeAway’s success in the home baking category is fuelled by an unwavering commitment to innovation and quality. The brand closely monitors consumer trends and invests in research and development to stay ahead of the curve. From chilled pancakes to home bakery products, BakeAway’s product range caters to a diverse audience seeking convenient, healthy, and affordable options.

“Today’s market landscape is impacted by a variety of factors, such as the cost-of-living crisis,” adds Hall. “Retailers should focus on providing quality listings that cut-through and convince consumers the product is worth their money. Brands that capitalise on the sub-sectors within the baking category, are surpassing ordinary brands in performance.”

For example, BakeAway’s strategic response to the increasing demand for healthy breakfast options led to the launch of OaYeah! in February 2023, a HSFF compliant ready-made pancake brand made from oat drink. By aligning their product offerings with these trends, retailers can capitalise on shifting consumer behaviours and drive category growth.

“Furthermore, retailers should remain vigilant of emerging consumer trends such as sustainability, convenience, and replicating restaurant dining experiences at home,” says Hall. “These trends present opportunities for retailers to differentiate their offerings and attract new customers. At BakeAway, we remain attuned to these trends, with our NPD department constantly looking to expand our product portfolio to meet evolving consumer demands.”

BakeAway has recently secured a new listing for our Pizza Express Ready to Roll Dough in Morrisons and renewed its listing with Asda for the Pizza Express dough ball. This reflects an increase in consumer demand for at home baking products that allow consumers to replicate the restaurant dining experience at home, reinforcing how retailers can drive success by gaining a strong understanding of consumer trends.

Looking ahead, BakeAway remains committed to elevating the baking category and driving continued growth. Through ongoing innovation, strategic partnerships, and consumer-centric initiatives, the brand aims to solidify its position as a leader in the bakery segment and deliver unparalleled value to its customers and retail partners alike.

Jen Johnson, Head of Marketing – Cake, Dr. Oetker Baking, comments: “Cake Decorations, Ingredients and Sweet Baking Mixes is worth £285M in the last 52 weeks, growing +7% in value YoY, driven by higher average spend within the baking sector (Source Circana & Kantar 52 weeks cake decorations, ingredients and sweet mixes 23rd December 2023).

“A key trend driving growth within the baking category for 2024 is simplicity, as time short bakers are continuing to seek out more convenient options. In baking we are returning to simple, tried and trusted recipes, seeing growth in chocolate whole cakes and muffins and cupcakes as well as packet mixes in the last year. We also continue to see baking for seasonal events grow, with Christmas and Halloween becoming even more important to home baking than last year.”

Core ingredients for scratch bakers continue to do well, and are amongst some of Dr. Oetker’s best-selling products, such as baking powder/soda, chocolate chips, marshmallows, and flavourings. Premium also continues to grow despite the cost-of-living crisis, in areas like premium Vanilla, which is key for seasonal events.

Health continues to be a desirable trait in baking now, however the perception of ‘health’ is changing. In home baking it is now less focused around ‘low calorie’ options and more about the goodness that can be added to bakes such as ‘high protein’ or ‘high fibre’, with attitudes towards baking for health reasons showing ‘more natural/less processed’ driving growth.

Core ingredients remain best sellers including Dr. Oetker Baking Powder and Bi-Carb, Dr. Oetker Madagascan Vanilla Extract & Dr. Oetker Cocoa Powder. 31% of shoppers bought into Dr. Oetker UK LTD products in the last 52W (Kantar WP).

Dr. Oetker has some exciting new products launching in April including Old School Traybake Cake Mixes in chocolate and vanilla flavours – tapping into the key trend of nostalgic themed baking. The brand also has the Brookie Cookie Mix (already in market) and S’mores Stuffed Cookie Mix, tapping into the key trends of replicating more indulgent elevated cookies seen out of home, as well as the continued growth of in-home snacking occasions for baking where individual portionable bakes are key.

Dr. Oetker Cake is growing +10% YoY worth £63m, split between Dr. Oetker UK Brand & Taylor & Colledge Premium Vanilla.

“It’s key to have a strong core range which appeals to both scratch bakers and less skilled / time pressured bakers who tend to use box mixes,” adds Johnson. “Seasonal remains key for baking, with Christmas, Halloween and Easter driving growth, with even more opportunities for home baking to tap into mini moments and occasions within the rest of the year such as Mother’s Day, Valentines etc. Pricing and promotions remain important to the shopper, aligning the right products to the right promotions and being visible to the shopper is key in driving growth, particularly when customers are currently under pressure to spend less on non-essentials due to cost-of-living.”

From a Home-Baking perspective, the overall Dr. Oetker brand will continue to support with investment above the line as well as supporting its products (especially NPD) through social media and instore materials at key times of year.



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