There’s just one week left to get your entries in for the British Baker Christmas Stars competition.
The competition gives businesses the chance to show off their festive creations and, with eight different categories (see below), there’s something for every type of bakery business.
Whether you have one shop or hundreds, supply major retailers or operate a wholesale bakery, we want to hear from you before the closing date of Monday 9 September. To enter the awards, click here.
The eight categories are:
- Christmas Cakes, Pastries & Tarts
- Christmas Puddings
- Festive Biscuits (Sweet and Savoury), including Gingerbread
- Festive Bread, including Panettone
- Free-from Christmas Bakery
- Mince Pies – sponsored by Flemings Zeelandia
- NEW for 2019: Festive Savoury Pies and Pastries
“Christmas is a time of fierce competition in the bakery industry. Winning a British Baker Christmas Stars award will give your business an edge over your competitors,” says British Baker deputy editor and Christmas Stars judge Amy North.
“Previous winners have reported double-digit increases in festive sales, received local media coverage and increased engagement from customers in person and on social media as a result.”
So, what makes a winning bakery product? Here are some top tips…
The only limit to Christmas creativity is your imagination. Surprise and delight the judges with a new twist on a classic, or something they’ve never seen before. Tapping a current trend will also help show them that you understand the bakery landscape (and will likely prove popular with customers).
Last year’s Christmas Cakes, Pastries and Tarts winner did just that. The Waitrose Christmas Gingerbread Latte Cake (pictured), supplied by Finsbury Food Group, drew inspiration from the popularity of flavoured lattes during the wintertime by coupling a spiced ginger sponge with coffee frosting.
Think traditional, but enhanced
Not everything has to be weird and wacky, some things are perfect just the way they are.
A beautifully crafted Christmas pudding that embraces its traditional roots, for example, can easily secure top place in the competitive category.
Matthew Walker’s Cherry Topped Christmas Pudding was 2018’s top pud, combining juicy vine fruits, whole glacé cherries, almonds and golden syrup with a dusting of gold lustre for good measure.
Value for money
One of the criteria British Baker Christmas Stars judges assess is value for money (alongside aroma, appearance, taste and innovation). This doesn’t necessarily mean cheap.
If your product features high-quality ingredients, make sure to shout about them in the product description to justify the higher price point. Equally, if the product is cheap and cheerful, flag that up as well.
Representing the higher end of the scale is two-time Christmas Stars winner Bachmanns. In 2017 the bakery secured a victory in the Cakes, Pastries & Tarts category with its prune and cognac tart and, last year, it won the Festive Biscuits category with a £14 Luxury Lebkuchen (pictured).
Poundbakery, meanwhile, came out top in the Mince Pies category with treats that cost just 25p each.
Great taste is everything
Regardless of the category, taste must be king. Neither Santa or the judges will stand for a sub-par mince pie when it comes to flavour.
For more information, and to enter the awards, visit www.bakerychristmasstars.co.uk.