Here’s a great chance for bakers to showcase their skills and the quality of their work to peers and potential customers as the hunt of Britain’s Best Loaf begins
If you produce a loaf that could be a winner in one of five categories – Gluten Free, Innovation, Sourdough, White or Wholegrain – then we want to know about it.
The 2018 Britain’s Best Loaf competition, sponsored by Rank Hovis, takes place at the Farm Shop & Deli Show at the NEC in Birmingham on 16 April.
Industry professionals will once again judge the contest, which has captured the hearts of professional bakers across the country – and can deliver real benefits for your business.
Yorkshire-based Seasons Bakery, which took the title of Britain’s Best Loaf last year with its Beetroot Multiseed Sourdough, said the victory boosted sales and gained the business new listings (see below).
Bakers interested in taking part in this year’s contest should visit the website britainsbestloaf.co.uk for more information and to enter online.
“We are delighted to again give Britain’s bakers an opportunity to showcase their skill and the quality of their products to their peers and potential customers through this competition,” said British Baker editor Vince Bamford.
“Always a hard-fought contest, I’m sure our expert judges will again have to make some tough decisions in determining who wins the individual category awards and, of course, the ultimate accolade of Britain’s Best Loaf.”
The Farm Shop & Deli Show is being held from 16-18 April 2018 at the NEC, Birmingham, and will once again offer a fantastic selection of products from local and regional suppliers.
The developers of some of last year’s winning loaves explain what the competition success has meant for them and their businesses.
Innovation and Britain’s Best Loaf
Seasons Bakery - Beetroot Multiseed Sourdough
“We saw a massive increase in sales through the shop following the win,” says Dan Nemeth, creator of Britain’s Best Loaf 2017, the Beetroot Multiseed Sourdough.
The business sold more than 45 loaves a day following the win, more than it had previously been selling in a week.
Also, the bakery has since featured in many newspapers, and made the front page of its local, the Westmorland Gazette.
Not surprisingly, Nemeth says he will be entering this year’s competition and recommends other businesses to do so.
“The customer response was overwhelming – we have had people travelling miles just to come and taste Britain’s Best Loaf.”
Arthur Chatwins - Farmhouse Loaf
Cheshire-based Chatwins made good use of its success in the White Loaf category by contacting the local press, and getting the story and pictures in local papers.
The win was promoted by the business on its own website, Facebook and Twitter accounts, and through posters, stickers and shelf barkers
“[We had] many comments from customers and other observers,” says bakery manager Nigel Attwell. “They were all impressed.”
Chatwins’ victory also brought an increase in sales of its winning loaf.
“To anyone thinking of entering, I’d say give it a try,” adds Attwell. “There is nothing to lose and plenty to gain and, for first-timers, the experience gained – win or lose – is invaluable.”
Free Me Foods Ltd t/a ‘When It’s Scone It’s Gone’ - Sun-dried Tomato Loaf
Like Chatwins, Gluten Free category winner Free Me Foods gained coverage in the local press following its victory. The business also publicised the win on its website, using its winner’s certificate as a pop-up.
“Customers were delighted to see that we had won and that it was awarded to a small artisan producer,” says director Sarah McMillan.
She adds that winning the category enhanced her reputation as a baker and added more credibility to her business.
“The win has boosted the confidence in
me and my team, in our ability to produce excellent products,” adds McMillan. “The volume of sales has gone up and we have reached more people.”
How to enter
Visit britainsbestloaf.co.uk for more information on the 2018 Britain’s Best Loaf competition and to enter online.
The deadline for entries is Monday 19 March 2018.
The competition will culminate in a live judging event and awards presentation at the Farm Shop & Deli Show, at the NEC Birmingham, on Monday 16 April 2018.
If you have a query about entering the Britain’s Best Loaf competition call the events team on 01293 610422.
For general event enquiries call event manager Lara Bacinello on 01293 610475.
You can enter as many categories as you like, but there is a limit of three entries per category.
- White: Entrants need to supply two standard 800g white loaves, either floured and/or cut or left plain before baking.
- Wholegrain: Entrants need to supply two 400g bread products made from any combination of grains such as barley, wholewheat, malted wheat, spelt or oats.
- Sourdough: Entrants need to supply two 800g bread products made by a long fermentation of dough using naturally occurring lactobacilli and yeasts. They can be any shape on a tray or oven bottom.
- Innovation: An open-weight class of two samples or eight rolls, using any bread processing technique, but applicants must provide written details of how the innovation was developed, including processing and ingredient details.
- Gluten Free: An open-weight class of two samples or eight rolls. Any bread variety can be used, but they must be made with gluten-free flour and gluten-free yeast.