Online Bakery Business of the Year recognises firms which are embracing digital platforms, offering customers an exceptional experience, delicious baked goods, and convenient delivery options.


An Ocado van driving around London

Source: Getty Images

Winner: Ocado

Ocado looks to bring its customers an unbeatable range, fair value, and effortless convenience – a set of ambitions that spread to its bakery category. On offer are more than 700 bakery skus with suppliers ranging from some of the nation’s largest bakery businesses, such as Hovis and Warburtons, as well as the likes of Gail’s, Jason’s, Celtic Bakers, and The Polish Bakery. As a joint venture between M&S Group and Ocado Group, M&S bakery items also feature heavily.

Additionally, its mission to be a ‘destination for innovation’ sees it support a host of artisanal firms, delivering products such as rainbow bagels, bread made with Wildfarmed flour, and charcoal sourdough.

This mission is coupled with its desire to actively drive further partnerships with small suppliers. Ocado’s buyers and suppliers work together to add media to the website to offer customers inspiration and hopefully drive conversion. This is further supported by a dedicated social media team seeking to highlight its huge range of products, especially at key times of year such as Easter and Christmas.

The judges were impressed by the sheer breadth of Ocado’s bakery range, which saw them purchase a wide range of baked goods, all of which were delivered in an impeccable state. They also praised the online retailer for its post-purchase communications strategy that lured them back with a series of offers.


A Lottie Shaw's website on a laptop

Finalist: Lottie Shaw’s

West Yorkshire-based craft bakery Lottie Shaw’s ventured online in 2019 and sales through this channel now account for 50% of the business’ annual turnover. It’s an area of focus moving forward, the business said, as it allows it to retain margins due to the direct-to-consumer model.

Products are dispatched directly from the Brighouse production site, where they are baked from scratch to the bakery’s own recipes, and then delivered via logistics partner DPD.

The family-owned business was shortlisted in this category last year, and continues to impress the judges with efficient delivery, lovely packaging which ‘really highlights the brand’s story’, and delicious treats at great prices. They particularly liked the option to build your own treat box or hamper, and the fact that delivery was free on these items.


A chocolate & hazelnut drip cake with white chocolate eggs on top

Source: Patisserie Valerie

Finalist: Patisserie Valerie

Patisserie Valerie’s online delivery service was created amid the pandemic as it sought to get its products in front of hungry customers.

The service customers receive online must fit with the experience when visiting a Patisserie Valerie brand store, the business said. As such, it has spent a lot of time on the website customer journey with clear signposting, appetising visuals and photography, and post-sale communication. Packaging is also a key part of the journey as it wants its handcrafted products to arrive in perfect condition.

This was reflected in the judges’ experience. They praised how easy the website was to navigate as well as how the brand story came through. They were also impressed with the quality of products delivered and the follow-up communications, which aim to keep customers coming back for more.