One in five convenience retailers say their sales of wrapped bread and bakery have declined in the past 12 months, according to a new study.

Researchers found that wrapped bakery sales had fallen in 20.7% of c-stores, while 11.4% of stores reported an increase in sales.

The report, called The Vital Ingredient, aims to show how c-stores can grow their wrapped bread and bakery sales. Based on research including hundreds of interviews with symbol group and independent convenience retailers and shoppers, it has been compiled by retail consultancy firm HIM, which is owned by British Baker publisher William Reed Business Media.

Almost three-quarters of retailers said bakery was important to their business, but a large proportion said they did not know how to compete in the bakery market against rivals including the major supermarkets.

The study highlights the value of the category to retailers, with one in 10 shoppers saying wrapped bakery was the main reason they came into stores.

It also found that wrapped bread shoppers spent an average of £7.92 in a shopping trip compared with the typical c-store spend of £6.13.

“Families are important to the wrapped bakery category and are the most likely to spend the most on this category,” stated the study. “However, those that live alone are also prominent in c-stores, so ensure small pack sizes are available.”

The report covered areas where retailers needed the most advice and highlighted that it was not just based on brands.

“With some consumers decreasing their white bread consumption, look to provide alternatives within your range to ensure they are switching from white bread to other bread alternatives rather than out of the category altogether,” it said.

Independent retailers told researchers that they saw growth coming from alternative bakery options, but said they received little advice on how to maximise the category.

And retailers suggested concerns about waste prevented them from stocking certain types of product – with more than a third of independent retailers saying they would not stock gluten-free options for this reasons.

“Suppliers need to offer advice on minimising wastage to encourage variety within wrapped bakery ranges,” stated the report.

Other topics covered by the study included consumer trends and opinions, bakery ranging and merchandising, and how to tailor a bakery range.

For more information on the HIM report please contact Belle Nairac at