A detailed insight into the wants and needs of UK consumers as they shop for fresh and pre-packed bread could help bakers improve their offer, according to new research from ingredients supplier Puratos.

In the study, the Buckingham-based firm has looked at consumer experiences of and attitudes to bakeries throughout the UK and how these can be reflected through new products, packaging, merchandising and design.

“We’ve looked at how consumers structure the category, whether shopping on the high street or in the supermarket,” says Puratos UK category marketing manager Bina Patel. “We can provide analysis on everything from what they like, dislike, think and feel about over 500 products to how they rate the shopping experience.”


The research also looked at consumer ‘need-states’ as well as what is wanted from bakeries of tomorrow – in particular, the importance of service and how a baker can benefit by enhancing its offer. “We identified six primary need-states – pleasure, comfort, diversity, indulgence, bonding and functionality – that define what the consumer is trying to achieve with each purchase,” says Ms Patel. “We found that, while products and prices may vary from the craft sector to in-store bakeries, these same need-states exist across all channels.”

The research revealed that consumers want more from in-store bakeries, she says, such as a more quality bread, single person’s loaves, a dedicated fresh patisserie counter, more recipe cards and opportunities to taste before they buy.

“They also want them to be more exciting and stimulating places to shop, which means we could soon see more theatre in-store – for example, bread displayed in wicker baskets and staff finishing products at the counter,” says Ms Patel.

Further research

As a result of its initial research, late last year Puratos conducted a second stage of research, looking more deeply into some of the key areas of interest that had arisen from that first stage, such as the decision-making processes that consumers go through when shopping for bakery items.”

Puratos has also been evaluating how successful bakers are in satisfying the need-states identified earlier, finding gaps in their offer and assessing opportunities for new product innovations. “We’ve already found a clear demand for ‘show-off’ breads and patisserie from around the world,” reveals Ms Patel.

- For more information, contact Puratos on tel: 01280 822 860 or go to www.puratos.co.uk