Bread is reclaiming its place at the nation’s breakfast table, with recession-hit shoppers turning to morning toast as they seek greater value from their loaf.
This effect has reversed a long-term decline in bakery products consumed at breakfast as the category has fought back into growth.
According to TNS Usage data on the number of occasions bakery was consumed at breakfast, for the year to November 2006 saw a decline of 4.7%.
Latest figures for the year ending July 2009, revealed in the annual Warburtons Bakery Review, show this is now in growth, up by 2.6%.
"While the number doesn’t look that big, 1% actually represents 162 million additional servings of toast. It accounts for a vast number of occasions," said Warburtons’ customer strategy manager Martin Baptie.
The turnaround means breakfast now accounts for 29% share of bakery consumption occasions. Said Baptie: "Over the last four years there has been a consistent decline, year on year, of bakery products consumed at breakfast. The recessionary effect has turned this around."
The biggest category winner was crumpets, with value sales shooting up 29.2% year on year. Executive director Brett Warburton told British Baker: "Crumpets has been phenomenal for us. We’re investing in new capacity at the moment. It’s a very flexible product a snacking product that people are taking to throughout the year. It is clearly an area that gets promoted, but promotions are only part of the story."
Bakery at breakfast has also seen the strongest value growth, up 9.3%, against the relatively static ’sandwich alternatives’ and ’tea break’ categories, under Warburtons’ definition. The remaining category, ’Meal accompaniments’ was also in growth, up 4.3%. "Evening meal accompaniments have seen an acceleration of growth, driven by things like naan breads and chapatis," said Baptie.