Britain's Best Loaf 2019

The 2019 winning loaves

There’s still a few more days to get your entries in for Britain’s Best Loaf 2023!

The competition – sponsored by ADM Milling, Brook Food & Bakery Equipment, Bako Group and Lesaffre UK & Ireland – aims to find the best loaves Britain has to offer across seven categories. The categories are: Flavoured Sourdough, Gluten Free, Innovation, International, Plain Sourdough, White and Wholegrain.

Entries cost £30 plus VAT and must be submitted by Monday 3 April via the Britain’s Best Loaf website. The loaves will be judged on Tuesday 25 April in front of visitors to the Farm Shop & Deli Show at the Birmingham NEC, with the winners revealed the same day.

Taking home a trophy can have excellent benefits for a bakery including a sales boost, coveted publicity, rewarding your team for their hard work and more. Need more convincing? Here are five reasons you should enter Britain’s Best Loaf 2023:

Dan Booth covered in flour with three Britain's Best Loaf trophies

Source: Bakerman / Leo Rotaru

Dan Booth and his 2022 Britain’s Best Loaf trophies

Give your sales a boost

Dan Booth – the baker behind the Parmesan & Black Pepper Sourdough which was crowned Britain’s Best Loaf 2022 – describes the reaction from customers as “insane”.

“We were at what I thought was capacity before the competition,” Booth explained after his win last year. “Since then, we’ve been frantically buying more things and fitting shelves and trying to increase capacity so we can actually meet demand because the amount of customers coming to try and buy bread has probably been double.”

Lee Smith from Poppyseed Bakery, a four-time champion of Britain’s Best Loaf, said every time he won the competition the bakery gets loads of requests for the winning loaf, with sales also rising.

Generate positive publicity for your bakery

Taking home a Britain’s Best Loaf trophy can result in coveted positive media coverage with local newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV stations. In some cases, national media even comes calling.

Winners are also covered by British Baker flagging your loaves and bakery to industry peers.

The 2022 champion Bakerman featured on the BBC Look North regional news segment, the front page of the local paper and on regional radio.

Bakers with trophies with loaves of bread in the background

Source: British Baker

The 2022 winners

This prized coverage can have tangible effects on a business.

“Within days of any form of TV coverage, our bread counters were buzzing with customers,” explains Catherine Connor, co-owner of Lovingly Artisan the bakery behind the Malted Barley Sourdough Tin Loaf which topped the Wholegrain category at the 2022 competition. “But that’s not all - we feature the awards on across our website, our newsletters, social media output and most importantly talk about them in our daily conversations with our customers.”

Even better is the fact that all Britain’s Best Loaf winners will receive a pack from British Baker that includes a press release, logos, social media posts, and advice on how to make the most of your win.

Give your staff a talking point with customers

A prominently displayed trophy creates a talking point for your customers and can even boost sales.

“The conversation unfolds as soon as the customer sees the award alongside the loaf, that conversation delivers sales, especially when the customer’s confidence in what is being produced is further enhanced by the fact that the product has won an award,” adds Connor.

The Cumbria-based bakery introduces every award-winning loaf to customers looking for a recommendation. “Industry approval and acknowledgement always results in a sale or in future sales,” Connor adds.

A smoked beetroot & chilli loaf next to a Britain's Best Loaf trophy

Source: Stir Bakery

Stir Bakery’s winning Smoked Beetroot & Chilli Loaf

Raise your profile to potential customers and employees

“Britain’s Best Loaf is a great chance to showcase what we are doing,” explains Sandor Bagameri, head of bakery at Stir Bakery which topped the 2022 Gluten Free category with a Smoked Beetroot & Sweet Chilli Loaf.

“Stir Bakery has more than doubled in size over the last 18 months and winning awards such as Britain’s Best Loaf has certainly helped raise our profile, made recruitment of staff easier and has opened doors with prospective customers,” he adds.

This echoes what Tim Goodwin from The Street Bakeshop said at a recent session on recruiting and retaining talented bakery staff. “The more known you are, the more presence you have, the easier it is to recruit,” he said.

A sourdough loaf with two rosettes on top

Source: British Baker

Britain’s Best Loaf 2021, a Prune & Cardamom Sourdough from Joe’s Bakery

Create an impact with the esteemed judging panel (and customers)

Good bread leaves an impact. When Britain’s Best Loaf judges come together, they often reminisce about the amazing loaves of competitions past – a joy that can translate to customers as well.

“One that really sticks in my mind is a loaf we tasted during the pandemic,” explains Katie-Joy Woods, subject matter expert – bread ingredients – at Jacksons Bakery, who is joining the judging panel this year as well.

“Within the Innovation category, there was a prune & cardamom loaf which caught the attention of all of us. It was simply delicious! The flavours were incredible, and it ended up being chosen for best in show. It was a real highlight during those difficult times and put a smile on all our faces.”

Woods will be joined on the judging panel by four-time Britain’s Best Loaf champion Lee Smith from Poppyseed Bakery, Craft Bakers Association president Neil Woods, reigning Baker of the Year Peter Doughty-Cook, 2021 Baker of the Year Tim Goodwin from The Street Bakeshop, Laura Sherwood, bakery technologist at Campden BRI, and a host of other industry experts who will be revealed in the coming weeks. The panel will also be joined by representatives from Britain’s Best Loaf sponsors – ADM Milling, Brook Food & Bakery Equipment, Bako Group and Lesaffre UK & Ireland.