New research commissioned by the Home Grown Cereals Authority (HGCA) has revealed that the bakery sector is under-playing the provenance card in product marketing.

Based on interviews through seven focus groups, the research found that bread and morning goods fell behind the brewing and dairy industries over perceptions of provenance claims, which ranged from supporting the local community through regionality or Britishness, natural ingredients, the origins of food including named suppliers, heritage and tradition and environmental standards.

Richard Walters, head of food marketing at Bidwells Agri- business, which carried out the research, said: "In bread and morning goods, our research identified an opportunity for manufacturers to use provenance to underline the health benefits and freshness of product - linking to the farm and natural ingredients. There’s already product differentiation between healthy products within bakery, and provenance is a way to better target consumers buying into that market."

He added that there was further potential around regionality, following Morrisons and Sainsbury’s initiatives to source local wheats for regional stores.

Roz Reynolds, marketing manager at the HGCA, added: "It may only be possible in certain parts of the bakery market to achieve that 100% feel for provenance, but it is very powerful in those parts, and it’s worth exploring within your own business."