Bakeries could be losing out on sales to discount supermarkets according to new research by the IGD.

In a monthly survey with 1,000 shoppers, almost half (46%) of shoppers would prefer to use discount stores, such as Lidl or Aldi, in the future if it was near to where they live or work.

Around a third (32%) believe their food will be much more expensive over the next 12 months, compared with 25% of respondents the same time last year.

Gordon Polson, director of The Federation of Bakers, said: “We must be conscious of what consumers want in these challenging times. Whatever retail outlet a consumer goes to, whether it’s Waitrose or Lidl, we must cater for their needs.”

The survey also discovered that more than a quarter (26%) of respondents will use food discount stores in the future.

Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive of IGD, said: “Discounters still account for a very small proportion of the market overall. But they might be expected to do well during an economic downturn, with 60% of shoppers telling us that they will use them more if their personal economic circumstances get worse.

“Shoppers also say perceptions of discounters have changed over the years, with 81% of regular discount food shoppers believing that the quality of products has improved.”