A fruited teacake from Schulstad Bakery Solutions

Source: Schulstad Bakery Solutions

Consumer preferences for fruited teacakes are shifting, according to recent research, with one in four saying they enjoyed them at least once a week.

A nationally representative survey of 500 UK shoppers was conducted in June 2023 by Opeepl on behalf of Schulstad Bakery Solutions.

It found that 26% of those surveyed claimed to indulge in a teacake every week, with 19% doing so once a fortnight. The average price respondents were willing to pay for a teacake was calculated at £2.55.

Meanwhile, 77% said they would normally buy one with a drink, which Schulstad claimed demonstrated the strength of the revenue opportunity for retailers through offering meal deals and upselling with a hot drink.

Traditionally considered an afternoon treat for cold weather months, fruited teacakes appear to now be broadening their year-round appeal. A fifth of those surveyed said they would enjoy a teacake any time of the day, and almost half (45%) indicated they would buy one throughout the year. 22% broke with customs to declare that summer was their preferred season for a teacake.

However, serving standards stood strong with three quarters of respondents wanting their teacakes to be toasted, and the top three toppings listed as jam (49%), butter (40%), and clotted cream (31%).

Schulstad noted there was room for innovation and creativity for teacakes, with consumers also opting for fresh fruit and chocolate spread or sauce. Operators were encouraged to tap into the growing trend for premiumisation of sweet treats by elevating them with interesting and unusual additions.

“It’s been fascinating to take a deep dive into how consumers like to enjoy this traditional sweet treat,” Sam Winsor, marketing manager at Lantmännen Unibake, said. “We have found that 65% of consumers seek out an English classic when buying themselves a treat.”

“In fact, 72% agree that teacakes embody a sense of nostalgia and 84% are tempted to buy a sweet bakery product because it is associated with a happy memory. The strength of fruited teacakes heritage has contributed to its emotional connection with consumers,” Winsor added.

Fourty-five per cent of consumers stated quality as a key purchasing driver of teacakes, with a fraction more saying it was the spongey texture that makes a perfect teacake. Teacakes with a sweet bread flavour, a robust structure that doesn’t crumble when toasted or topped, and plenty of raisins and sultanas were also found to be highly sought after.

Schulstad Bakery Solutions is one of the UK brands owned by Lantmännen Unibake. Its frozen products, which are supplied ready to bake or thaw, include high quality ready glazed Danish pastries, viennoiserie, sweet treats, continental savouries, and speciality and French breads. Last year, Schulstad published research highlighting the untapped potential in the Danish pastries market.