Olympic fever hits UK bakeries

The opening weekend of the London 2012 Olympic Games boosted sales and volumes at bakeries UK-wide.

This year’s Olympics kicked off on Friday, with the opening ceremony devised by Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle and watched by 27 million UK viewers. As a result, the buzz around the Olympic Games has driven up business in bakeries nationwide.

The Cake Store in Sydenham, London, had to fulfill a last-minute order for 10,000 scones on Friday evening for the Olympics' tennis competition venue in Wimbledon, after another contracted bakery manufacturing firm had cancelled.

The bakery, which featured in last week's British Baker for creating a celebration cake for One Direction boy band member Louis Tomlinson, tasked its staff to make cherry scones, date scones and mini cocktail scones throughout the night, which were delivered to the venue by 12pm the next day.

Tim Slatter, director at The Cake Store, said: "We have supplied our scones to Wimbledon for around 30 years, producing 7,000 a day for this year's Championships. So the organisers at the venue who contacted us on Friday knew we were reliable and called upon us to fulfill the Olympic order. All of our members of staff mucked in and worked around the clock, making each scone by hand.

"It was hard and chaotic, but it was worth it if the organisers at the venue are now willing to call upon us for any shortfalls during the Olympic Games."

Warings Bakery, which has six retail outlets in the Berkshire and Hampshire areas, said rebranding its cupcakes to include Union Jack flags and gold medals helped grow sales over the weekend for the sweet treat by around 10%.

Daniel Carr, PR manager at Warings Bakery, told British Baker: “We did a deal for our cupcakes and packaged them in fours giving 50 pence off the usual price. We also displayed them in appropriate locations so that customers would choose them as an impulse purchase, which worked really well."

Warings Bakery also created marshmallow 'flame' cones, using orange marshmallows and glitter, as a way to generate further sales as the Olympic torch passed by one of its outlets in Reading.

Carr added: "There was a lot of hype around the torch coming through our local area so we wanted to make the most of the opportunity, and as a result the marshmallow cones sold well."

Has you bakery seen an increase in sales since the start of the Olympics? What have been your best sellers? Let us know at bb@wrbm.com.

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