Traditional French bakery products are becoming increasingly popular with British consumers, according to a new report out by Mintel. However, toast still comes out on top at breakfast time.

Goods such as brioches and pains au chocolat are being eaten more and more for breakfast, and are growing at a faster pace than traditional British baked goods, said Mintel, which suggests bread brands have introduced a wider range of sweet bakery goods for consumers.

Sales of brioches rose 25% in 2011 to £38m, from £31m in 2010. Pain au chocolat sales were also up, from £22m in 2010, to £25m in 2011 – an increase of 14%.

Alex Beckett, senior food analyst at Mintel, said: “French baked goods, such as brioches, have recorded impressive value growth, suggesting Brits are developing a stronger taste for sweet bakery goods.

“The fact that these goods can be eaten at breakfast could suggest this growth is to the detriment of sliced bread. Bread brands can capitalise on this cosmopolitan trend by introducing a wider variety of sweet baked goods to their portfolios.”

According to the research group, French pastries are now consumed by around a quarter of Brits (23%), while 24% eat more traditional British baked goods and bread.

Toast still tops the charts as the number one breakfast food, though, with up to 81% of British consumers eating it for breakfast. Sales of scones were also growing well, up 19% to £33m in 2011, while hot cross buns saw 7% growth, from £30m in 2010 to £33m in 2011.

Other traditional baked items, however, have seen a decline in sales, with English muffins down 3% to £24m.

Looking to the bread market, the report also highlighted the impressive growth of bagels – up 48% in just two years to £49m in 2011.

Overall, sales of speciality bread (including wraps, naans, bagels, pittas, baguettes, chapattis and paninis) have increased by 8% between 2010 and 2011.