Northern supermarket chain Booths is seeing significant growth in its bakery division, it has told British Baker.

It is seeing 30% growth a week year-on-year in bakery turnover in its 26 supermarkets, with bakery retail sales at £1.8m per quarter, said Leigh Anne Carr, bakery buyer.

The supermarket, which celebrates its 160th anniversary this year, has 26 stores across Lancashire, Cheshire, Cumbria and Yorkshire. It has over 71 types of speciality breads in its range.

The introduction of a range of freshly baked unwrapped bread had been hugely successful, said Carr.

"Our naked - unwrapped - bread, which is delivered fresh every day is seeing 30% growth. Suppliers include Waterfields, Village Bakery and Staff Of Life - an artisan baker in Cumbria. We have been increasing this offering in stores because it is flying off the shelves," said Carr.

She added that the retailer’s plant bread was only seeing a 2-3% increase in sales. "After introducing artisan ranges into our resturant in Kendal, Cumbria, we realised that these were going to sell very well."

Recently, Booths has been refurbishing some of its stores to give prominence to its "naked" bread ranges. One recent refurbishment was at Knutsford, Cheshire.

"Customers today are looking for more speciality breads and their interests are steering away from the dull white and brown bread to appreciating different flavours," added Carr.

l For more information see Meet the Buyer, pg 14-15.