British Baker has launched its annual search for the top creations in bakers’ and bakery retailers’ festive ranges – and has asked previous winners how winning a Christmas Star has helped their business.

Whether you have one shop or hundreds, supply the multiple retailers or operate a small wholesale business, you can enter the Christmas Stars competition and compete for the chance to use a Winner or Highly Commended logo on all marketing material and on packs.

As well as raising the profile of your business, a win can have a real impact on sales, as Chris Bachmann of Bachmanns found when his Prune & Cognac Tart (pictured right) won the Cakes, Pastries & Tarts category last year.

“This was an amazing success for us,” he says. “Our Prune & Cognac Tart was always a tough sell – it’s a premium product at £16 for a six-inch round tart and I think prunes remind people of nasty 1970s school dinners.

“On winning the award, we put together a social media campaign about the win and our Christmas ads featured the product, together with the Christmas stars logo.”

The result was customers ringing and calling to reserve the tart, while a tasting display featuring the Christmas Stars logo was a big hit with shoppers.

“We sold nearly 10 times the amount we did the previous year,” adds Bachmann.

Paul Rhodes Bakery, winner of the 2017 stollen category with its Stollen Cake, says sales of the product were twice those of the year before. And Aldi, which won three categories last year, also reports an uplift in sales thanks to its success.

“The British Baker Christmas Stars are a fantastic way to showcase the products on offer at Aldi over the festive season,” says Julie Ashfield, Aldi managing director of buying.

The retailer promoted its success by featuring the Christmas Stars logos on-pack, at point of sale, and across wider marketing and advertising materials in the run-up to Christmas.

Délifrance UK, which topped the festive bread category with its Festive Fruit & Spice Boule, also promoted its win in marketing material for the product, as well as in internal communications to the bakery team at Southall, where the product was produced.

Little wonder, then, that many of the businesses that took part in the competition in 2017 will be doing so again.

“We’ll certainly be entering again in 2018 and look forward to seeing the results,” says Aldi’s Ashfield.

How to enter British Baker’s Christmas Stars

Any professional baker or bakery retailer can enter British Baker’s 2018 Christmas Stars competition.

A panel of industry experts will judge and score a range of products on key criteria, including appearance, taste, aroma and value. Products are judged ‘blind’, with judges unaware of the identity of the manufacturer/retailer at the tasting stage, although this is later revealed to them.

The seven Christmas Stars categories are:

  • Christmas Cakes, Pastries & Tarts
  • Stollen
  • Christmas Puddings
  • Festive Biscuits (Sweet & Savoury), including Gingerbread
  • Festive Bread, including Panettone
  • Free-from Christmas Bakery
  • Mince Pies (sponsored by Flemings Zeelandia)

The British Baker Christmas Stars winners will be announced in a web broadcast in October – in time for you to ramp up your Christmas marketing activity. Entry fees are £99 per product for small/medium bakery businesses; and £299 per product for large bakery businesses (75-plus employees).

Entry deadline is 10 September 2018 and our online process is quick and easy. Don’t delay, enter now at