From cupcakes to Cordon Bleu recipes, home baking has boomed during the recession. Mintel’s latest research reveals the internet overtaking the cookbook as the source of inspiration, with over half (52%) of Brits saying they get their recipe ideas online compared to the 46% relying on the cookery books on their kitchen shelf.

The home baking revival has helped the sector to rise like a cake, growing 13% between 2007 and 2009 to reach a massive £523 million. And baking mad Brits are not going to stop there, with further estimated growth in 2010 helping the market reach £576 million and 28% of Brits baking from scratch using raw ingredients at least once a week.

Despite a trend towards smaller cakes, the top item Brits bake at home is a standard cake, with 42% of consumers saying they baked one in the last year. Cupcakes come next with 39%, batters such as Yorkshire Puddings with 37%, biscuits/cookies (29%) and sweet pies, tarts and puddings in joint position with 28% of Brits baking these over the past year. Brownies come bottom with just 14%.

A great deal of the baking revival can be attributed to consumers becoming increasingly frugal and baking in a bid to save money, but the recent media exposure making baking fashionable again has also been a key driver. While it’s easy to wonder whether home baking’s popularity will fall once the economy starts to recover, the nation’s rediscovery of the pleasures of baking should enable the category to sustain growth as consumers become more appreciative of the higher quality baked items they have produced.

Despite rising commodity prices, the flour category has been spurred by consumers’ desire to bake from scratch, and grown 19% between 2007 and 2009 to £75 million, from £67 million in 2008. Meanwhile, the home baking revival has also driven cake decorations up from £53 million in 2008 to £58 million in 2009.

In fact, with tightening budgets and relatively less disposable income, half (50%) of UK consumers now say they are baking at home as it enables them to cut down on their personal shopping bills, and instead of preferring convenience as used to be the case, now only 19% of consumers say baking from scratch takes too much time. Meanwhile, we like to showcase our home baking efforts to those close to us with nearly half (45%) of Brits saying they like to show off their baking skills to friends and family. Almost all consumers have bought some kind of baking ingredient in the last year, with over two thirds (69%) having bought raw ingredients.

The Grocery Trader

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