Despite planning difficulties and the raft of Bank Holidays, high street bakery sales held up well over the Easter period and the run-up to the Royal wedding.
Campbell’s Bakery in Crieff sold over 400 cupcakes during the week of the wedding. The business also supplied them to a number of local hotels, including Gleneagles. "On the day of the wedding itself, my staff were calling for more Royal cupcakes faster than we could make them," said MD Iain Campbell.
Themed cupcakes were also popular at London’s Kindreds Bakery, which saw sales virtually doubling. "People were buying 20 at a time," said owner Anthony Kindred. He admitted the bakery did lose some sales during April, because of the school closures, but said this was offset by a big increase in hot cross bun sales.
Mike Holling, head of retail operations at Birds of Derby, said the warm weather played a huge part in making the end of April a successful sales period, with customers turning to products such as bread rolls, and savouries.
Birds’ 50-plus shops saw a mixed trade on the day of the wedding. "It was hard to know how busy it would be, and was difficult to plan for," he explained. However, he said it was good preparation for future Royal functions, such as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee next year.
Sandra Ogden, head of retail operations at Greenhalgh’s said trade in the week running up to the wedding and the bank holiday was very brisk, with 28 April a bumper day. "Most of our shops were open on the day of the Royal wedding but trading, particularly in town centres was quiet, while suburban shops faired better," she added.
Chris Peck, executive chairman at Cooplands (Doncaster), also commented on the challenges of preparing for the Royal wedding, but said the extra ’event’ in the calendar gave craft bakers a lot of opportunities to promote their products, and trade was brisk.
The supermarkets also benefited hugely from the Royal nuptials, with Waitrose experiencing its busiest Thursday (28 April) outside the Christmas and New Year period. Among its top sellers were its bride and groom gingerbread figures.