Independent bakers missing out on Bake Off opportunity

High street bakery outlets are failing to cash in on a surge in consumption of sweet-tasting bakery and dessert products, in a trend driven by The Great British Bake Off.

According to product information company The NPD Group, in the year to September 2015 UK consumers bought a record 1.5 billion servings of items in the sweet bakery and dessert categories – comprising cookies, tea biscuits, scones and pastries, including Danish, muffins, doughnuts, croissants, tarts, pies and crumbles, cakes, puddings and brownies.

This is up 5.5% on the previous year, and 9.2% more than the year ending September 2010, when The Great British Bake Off launched, but bakery shops only increased business by 2.5% over the same five-year period. Bakeries even faced a 3.1% decline in servings in the year ending September 2015 compared to the previous year.

NPD said bakers faced strong competition from other suppliers, in particular high street coffee shops, which notched up 186 million servings of sweet bakery and dessert treats for the year ending September 2015, 8.9% more than the previous year.

Top five sweet bakery and dessert products

The top five sweet bakery and dessert products account for more than 1 billion of the 1.5 billion servings. For the year ending September 2015, annual servings of the highest-placed product, cakes, were up 9.6%, and now stand at 406 million. In second place were croissants, which were up 21% over five years at 155 million.

Cookies are just behind with 151 million, up 18% over five years, 149 million brownies were consumed, increasing 72% over the same period, and muffins were up 27% over five years to 143 million.

Muriel Illig, foodservice account manager, The NPD Group, said: “Has The Great British Bake Off stimulated our appetite for these treats? Yes, the figures show that when it comes to servings of the top five sweet bakery and dessert favourites it’s very much a case of the Great British Bakery and Dessert Take-Off. With another Bake Off series next summer, we’ll once again watch tasty bakes come to life – and many more of us will be tempted by these goodies.”

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