Elisabeth the Chef reports significant growth in packaged cakes over the last year, with sales growth topping the 20% mark. The company states that almost all that growth stems from traditional product areas - choux buns, meringue-based products, doughnuts, éclairs, custards and sponges.

The bulk of the company’s bakery work is done at its Broadheath (Worcester) site - now known as its Centre of Excellence for Bakery Products - which this year accounts for a £40 million turnover, £35m of which is in packaged products.

Says chief executive Andrew Johnson: "The market has expanded, and we have responded by investing heavily in our production capacity at Broadheath. We have spent over £1m this year alone in upgrading and expanding our facilities, including doubling the capacity of our high-care cream room and bakery plant. We’ve put in new ovens, finishing equipment, pie makers, depositors and other ancillary equipment.

"The firm supplies products in a wide range of packaging, from acetates for cream cakes, through sleeves for steam puddings to boxes for pies, custards and tarts. Character licensed products have significantly exceeded volume expectations," he says. "Tatty Ted character products from our Me to You licence remain our best-seller, but this year has also been particularly hot for our Doctor Who cakes. We remain on track to be a £70m business by the turn of the year."