mintellogoBread, once it was simply a choice between white or  brown, but then came the new loaf on the block –  half & half.  Indeed, new research from Mintel finds sales of half & half bread rising a massive 16% between 2011 and 2013.  Meanwhile, sales of pre-packed bread as a whole rose just 2% over the same 2 year period.

Accounting for a 12% share of the pre-packed bread market – half & half bread was valued at £243 million in 2013, sales increasing from £210 million in 2011.   Meanwhile, with a 52% market share, sales of white bread declined 1% over the same period.  Sales of white bread were valued at £1,071 million in 2013.

By contrast, brown bread sales ( with a 17% share) increased by a healthier 5% from £334 million in 2011 reaching £351 million in 2013.

The remainder of the market was made up of bread with bits £234 million (11%), dietary, dieting & organic £126 million (6%) and other inc part-baked with just a 1% share.

Overall, sales of pre-packed bread were valued at £2,052 million in 2013.

Consumption of bread is very high, and a great proportion of users already eat it daily, making it challenging to grow volumes. Added value has therefore a key role to play in maintaining sales growth in the bread category. Promisingly for the market, more than half (56%) of bread users think that it is worth paying more for high quality bread (eg freshly baked, no added chemicals).

More actively promoting the absence of artificial additives/preservatives on-pack and in marketing messages, or adopting an ‘all natural’ positioning could therefore help brands already offering these quality attributes to capitalise on them, as such messages continue to play a secondary role in the market at the moment. Especially for manufacturers of pre-packed bread, their credentials in offering freshness – the single most important consideration to bread shoppers – could also be made more compelling by promoting on-pack and/or in marketing campaigns how quickly their products get from factory to the supermarket shelves.

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