English craft bakers have reported themed lines proved popular during the recent England World Cup tournament, although trade was down during England matches. Gary Reeve, MD of Reeve the Baker, based in Salisbury, said his nine shops offered World Cup novelties, including biscuits with an iced football strip, George Cross muffins and Belgian buns, with an iced George Cross instead of a cherry.

Shops were quiet during the England matches, he said, and all promotional stock was withdrawn after England was knocked out by Portugal on July 1.

Janes Pantry MD Neville Morse said the 10-shop Gloucestershire-based company closed early on the day of the second England match, after the “town went dead” during the first match.

The company saw strong sales of World Cup merchandise, he said. Each week it sold 2,000 shortbreads, decorated England footballer’s shirts, 500 World Cup muffins and another 500 individual cake bars with St George’s flags on them. He commented: “The stock was still selling even after England was eliminated.”

Newcastle-based Milligans Bakery saw good sales of football lines including iced Madeira buns, England strip gingerbread men, and World Cup cakes in its 30 shops, factory manager Paul Stephenson told British Baker.

Forfars Bakers MD Tim Cutress said the 26-shop chain created novelty gingerbread footballers and mini England loaf cakes. But sales were hit by the hot weather, he said.

Meanwhile, in Wales bakers also offered World Cup promotional items. David Jenkins MD Russell Jenkins said his 22 shops carried England-themed football biscuits and cupcakes, which sold well.