Independent retailer Booths has been experiencing increasing sales across its in-store bakery range, thanks to some new initiatives.

Abby Talbot, bakery buyer for Booths told British Baker: “Year-on-year we’ve seen an increase in ISB bread of 17% and cake of 14%, across the whole estate.”

Despite the general decline in plant bread sales across the industry, Talbot maintains that a great range, display and service seem to be driving customers into loose bread.

It has recently completed a revamp of its largest store, known as the ‘Knutsford initiative’. Prompted by competition from other retailers which had opened in the area, Booths transformed the store in Knutsford, creating a deli-style environment with huge oak tables, wicker chalk boards and wicker baskets displaying fresh produce.

In terms of product innovation, Booths has just launched some new varieties of hot cross bun, to take advantage in the growing interest in twists on traditional products. Flavours include chocolate & stem ginger and white chocolate with raspberry and cranberry.

It has also launched an Easter bakery hybrid – a hot cross buffin, which is a hot cross bun baked in a muffin case.

Talbot said: “We feel it’s really important to have the traditional bakery goods that customers expect, but also to innovate and wow our customers with some new flavours and a twist on tradition.”

Booths has 29 stores across Cumbria, Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cheshire and Greater Manchester, and sources all of its Easter bakery range from family-run craft bakeries in the north west of England.

Find out more about what Booths has planned for Easter in the latest issue of British Baker, published on 24 January.