The report said that sales had grown by 8% over the last five years. However, growth peeked in 2013 and the market had since been on a slow decline, with value sales expected to have shrunk 6% over the period 2014-15.
Mintel blamed a combination of health concerns over bread and carbohydrates, not helped by incidents such as David Cameron giving up bread to lose weight in early 2015, and the fact bread prices had been a key pawn in the supermarket price war.
Warburtons was cited as bearing the brunt of the declining sales. Although it maintains a substantial lead within the bread and baked goods market, it has suffered a 3.3% drop in value sales of prepacked bread in the 12 months to June 2015.
The report also suggests younger consumers are less likely to buy traditional bread types such as unsliced bloomer and loaves, favouring newer forms such as bagels and wraps. However, the older generation remains faithful to the older styles and sliced bread generally remains the go-to option for pre-work breakfasts and sandwiches.
The report said: “With the market beholden to fluctuating wheat prices, owing to the weather, it can be volatile and difficult to predict. The value sales in the market are expected to see a 5.3% decline over the 2015-20 period, with average prices likely to remain steady or see only slight growth towards the end of the period. Volumes are expected to see a drop of almost 7% over 2015-20.”