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More than a third of bakers boosted their online presence in 2020 in response to the pandemic, a member survey by the Craft Bakers Association has revealed.

Of 49 businesses polled, 36% said they had increased their digital visibility by starting or extending their online offer and a further one in four intended to do the same in 2021.

More than one in five (21%) had debuted social media channels over the past year and 12% had launched their first website, the findings showed.

In addition, many bakeries increased their production, with 38% making more bread, 30% baking more savoury snacks and 28% creating more cakes.

The CBA said many bakeries had successfully adjusted despite the restrictions and cited Manchester-based Slattery, which used to take telephone orders but switched to a new online ordering system offering cream tea and afternoon tea boxes.

During the first week, the bakery received 100 orders a day, a figure that rose to 200 in the second week.

Warings Bakery in Reading also created a home delivery service and supporting website at the start of the pandemic which has now become a permanent part of their customer offer, the CBA said.

“We know from our surveys that our members are both willing and able to adapt to a whole range of business challenges,” Karen Dear, CBA director of operations, explained.

“Faced with shop closures owing to Covid, many of our members adjusted their business models to reach their customers online. This highlights our members’ tenacity at finding new opportunities and new ways to innovate.”