Reasons why you should enter Britain’s Best Loaf

British Baker is once again delighted to be running Britain’s Best Loaf – a competition that can deliver real benefits to your business.

If you produce a loaf that could be a winner in one of five categories – Gluten Free, Innovation, Sourdough, White or Wholegrain – then we want to know about it.

The 2019 Britain’s Best Loaf competition, sponsored by Craggs & Co, takes place at the Farm Shop & Deli Show at the NEC in Birmingham on 8 April.

Judged by a panel of leading industry figures, it is a great chance for bakers to showcase their skills and the quality of their work to peers and potential customers.

“Winning such a prestigious prize is priceless, and having your company recognised by industry experts is a seal of approval,” says Valeria Mizuno-Turner, co-owner of the Incredible Bakery Company, which won last year’s Gluten Free category with its Incredible Bitter and Aromatic Boule.

We asked previous winners to tell us what success on the competition had meant to them, and how it had benefited their business – see below.

Bakers interested in taking part in this year’s contest should visit the website britainsbestloaf.co.uk for more information and to enter online. The deadline for entries is 11 March, and there is an entry fee of £20+VAT for each product.

The Farm Shop & Deli Show is being held from 8-10 April 2018 at the NEC, Birmingham, and will once again offer a fantastic selection of products from local and regional suppliers.

Winners’ stories:
The developers of some of last year’s winning loaves explain what the competition success has meant for them and their businesses.

Foodhaven
White Seeded Sourdough: Britain’s Best Loaf winner 2018

  • How have you marketed your win? We have created posters for our shops and got very good coverage on radio and local press.
  • How did your customers react to the win? Our customers have always enjoyed our bread and our products are priced very competitively. This has not always worked in our favour – people often think they need to pay a lot for a quality product. The award gave our customers a feelgood factor by endorsing their decision.
  • How has the win impacted sales? Our sales have increased by about 7% year on year since the win.
  • What would you say to someone considering entering the competition? In our case it takes no additional effort other than the trip to Birmingham to drop off the samples. We don’t do anything different for the competition – we make the same loaf for our shops.

Incredible Bakery Company
Incredible Bitter and Aromatic Boule, Gluten Free winner 2018

  • How have you marketed your win? We told everyone through our social media and website, and made a special leaflet for our wholesale and individual customers. We also sent press releases to the local media. We basically use it all the time – it’s with great delight we can say our loaf won.
  • How did your customers react? Our posts about winning were shared far and wide, and we believe it has drawn people to our brand who otherwise wouldn’t have known about us.
  • How has the win impacted sales? Since we started we have seen an increase of sales year on year.
  • Have you gained new business as a result of the win? It is difficult to quantify if business has been won solely on the basis of the award. However, the award gave us more credibility with members of the public in general and, as a result of that, we have probably got more business.
  • What would you say to someone considering entering? Just do it – you won’t regret it. Winning such a prestigious prize is priceless, and having your company recognised by the industry experts is a seal of approval.

Joe’s Bakery
Easter Bread, Innovation winner 2018

  • How have you marketed your win? We posted the win on our social media accounts, on our website, and on a local traders’ Facebook group. We also had articles in the two local community magazines. And we made a display of the trophy, certificate and photos in our shop window.
  • How did your customers react to the win? Very positively. We had a lot of congratulations and comments about how we deserved the win.
  • How has the win impacted sales? The winning product was a seasonal line, so we are just about to put it back into production now.
  • Have you gained new business as a result of the win? It is difficult to attribute the sales increase directly to the win, but sales have remained very healthy.
  • What would you say to someone considering entering the competition? Give it a go! It involves a bit of effort but the benefits from winning make it very worthwhile, not just the sales but staff satisfaction and pride as well. Also, entering the competition makes everybody involved think seriously about the quality of bread they are making and raises ideas for improvement.

Luke Evans Bakery
Small Country Grain: Wholegrain winner 2018

  • How have you marketed your win? We did some local PR at the time, which gave us some great coverage. We use it with potential customers when we approach them.
  • How did your customers react to the win? They were pleased they were able to stock Britain’s best wholegrain loaf.
  • How has the win impacted sales? It has enabled us to do more marketing and have something to be proud of. One of the best things that came from it was the pride of the bakers themselves. We did a PR piece on them with a photo and they loved it – it was great for morale.
  • Have you gained new business as a result of the win? Very likely, but it’s difficult to pin down. We always mention it at the time to a new customer.
  • What would you say to someone considering entering the competition? It is definitely worth doing. It gives you, as a business, something to talk about. It also gives your customers something to be proud to have on their shelves, and gives them something to talk about. And it’s great for staff morale.

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