Craft bakers are feeling the pinch from the current economic squeeze, with some reporting a dip in lunchtime trade.

Custom from builders and other workmen is particularly down, say independent bakers.

"Usually we’d have builders pull-up outside the shop for their 10 o’clock break and throughout the day, but we’ve noticed a difference," said Steve Woodruff, manager of Woodruffs Bakery in Southampton. "It’s had most effect on our takeaway trade - pies, pasties and sandwiches."

Peter Cook, baker at Ludlow-based Price & Sons, said: "When you’re doing lots of sandwiches, rolls, pies and pasties, builders are your ideal customers, so if building work isn’t happening, it will have an effect."