Bakery businesses in Scotland are reporting an upturn in trade of around 25% since the easing of lockdown measures, according to a Scottish Bakers study.
The trade body surveyed its members to gain an understanding of the current market conditions for Scotland’s bakers, with the research encompassing the indoor sale of takeaway foods and the reopening of the hospitality sector at large.
The responses painted a largely positive picture for bakery businesses since high streets reopened. Scottish Bakers said this is evidence that sector is moving towards ‘normal’ trade.
The association attributed the 25% increase in business to:
- More general footfall and passing trade
- More demand for food-to-go across the breakfast and lunchtime hours
- Rising demand from hospitality and/or foodservice businesses
- Increased orders from supermarkets/convenience stores
- More demand for hot drinks to take away.
Around 70% of respondents to the survey still had 25% of their staff on furlough. However, nearly 50% predicted a need to recruit more staff within the next three months, while 80% recognised a necessity to develop the skills of their workforce as part of their recovery plans.
Alasdair Smith, Scottish Bakers chief executive, welcomed the evidence that bakery businesses are “bouncing back” after pandemic restrictions.
“Many of our members have shown extraordinary resilience staying open through Covid, providing their communities and customers with freshly bread daily not to mention rolls, pies and pastries to keep our spirits up,” he added.
“They have changed business models to offer home delivery and click and collect options as well as in rural communities stocking a wider range of grocery basics to support their vulnerable customers, so they deserve this bit of good news.”