Tesco’s sales of part-baked bread have soared by 47% in the past year.
And the supermarket giant has hinted that it may in future offer part-baked versions of all its bakery products.
Tesco said sales had been so strong that it has doubled its range to 14 part-baked products “with more to be added in the next year”.
Bakery category director Stephen Mason said: “When it comes to food smells there’s nothing quite as enticing as the irresistible aroma of freshly-baking bread gently wafting out from a kitchen.
“In the last year the part-baked bread trend has really taken off and it’s down to the popularity of the many TV cookery shows right now."
He added: “We are now looking to expand the range to include croissants and pastries.
“But the possibilities are endless and it could be that in the not-too-distant future we will have half-bake alternatives for all the items we sell in our bakery.”
Dr Martin Corbett, an expert in the science of smell, based at Warwick University, said that the strong feelings evoked by baking bread were known by psychologists as the Proust Effect.
Said Corbett: “Proust once described how the smell given off when he dipped a small cake into a cup of tea immediately evoked powerful childhood memories of his aunt’s home.
“He recalled that ‘the entire town, with its people, and houses, gardens, church, and surroundings taking shape and solidity, sprang into being from my cup of tea’.