Nick Harris

Managing Director, BFP Wholesale

Temperatures are rising at last, the snow seems a distant memory and the chaos over volcanic ash is subsiding. Spring is the time to look forward and start to think about those lazy summer days, when everyone wants to eat outdoors. But before that we have had an election!

What opportunities did that offer the craft baker? An election brings more people to the high street and if you were lucky enough to be in a target constituency, then you will have enjoyed an invasion of hungry journalists and politicians, anxious to be your friend they may not help you in the medium term, but I hope you used their presence to generate PR for your business.

Now the election is over, what comes next? This summer is full of opportunities for the craft baker: firstly there is the annual National Doughnut Week from 8-15 May. Then the big one, timed to coincide with the World Cup, is the second National Craft Bakers’ Week. This year there are even more products to help you promote your business from T-shirts and bags to point-of-sale material. If you don’t join in, you will not get the benefits.

Spring is also the time for new launches. Will this year start to see the decline of the cupcake in favour of the well-publicised whoopie pie? It is not too long ago that bakers thought muffins could not survive alongside cupcakes, but both products continue to sell well.

And what is new in ingredients? The move to liquids is accelerating, with improvers, yeasts and fats in liquid format all becoming available for the craft bakery sector. You may not have considered them for your business yet, but while spring is in the air, there has never been a better time to try.