Value sales of branded pro-ducts in packaged bakery, which includes plant bread, morning goods and ambient cakes, but excludes in-store bakery, grew 8.3% in the 12 weeks to 22 March, according to TNS, compared to a 1.9% fall in private-label sales. Branded bread grew in value by 8.7%, compared to just 2.7% in own-label.
This performance by branded bakery products bucks a wider trend that has seen shoppers ditching brands for cheaper own-label products. Sainsbury's recently announced that its Switch and Save campaign had helped grow year-on-year sales of its Basics products by 60% in the last quarter, while Tesco also promotes own-label alternatives to branded products online.
Sainsbury's bakery development manager Matt Pizzey told BB: "The market has traditionally been dominated by Warburtons, Allied and Hovis - brands people trust. Bread is a comfort food, so people naturally look for products they have confidence in."
Edward Milner, head of category management for Hovis, said that plant bread sales had also been helped by more people making sandwiches at home. "Shoppers are buying branded because they want the best quality they can have from a homemade sandwich," he said.
Sara Reid, marketing manager at Rank Hovis, added: "People are going back to trusted brands because they know what they're getting. It's not just about price, it's about value for money."