Selling like hot cakes UK bread and bakery category in a very healthy state

There is intense competition in the UK bread and bakery market at the moment, with consumers being offered a host of products, all offering a point of difference. Whether this differentiation is strong taste credentials, breath of range, convenience, versatility or health benefits, in this environment products with a clear ‘edge’ are the ones most likely to succeed.

The other major market factor in bread and bakery, the health trend is showing no signs of slowing, with movements like veganism continuing to gain traction and growing numbers of consumers seeking new ways to make their lifestyles healthier.

As our meal times become increasingly flexible, Matthew Grenter, Sales Manager at Brioche Pasquier says morning trade offers a considerable opportunity to retailers, casual dining outlets and even pubs, and to the wholesalers supplying them. From early morning pick up and go breakfast options to a sit down ‘full English,’ through light bites with coffee to extended weekend brunches, there are many bakery opportunities for operators.

Convenience is one of the prime market drivers, says Matthew, particularly for young consumers. “Savvy operators will therefore be looking to extend their breakfast offering to include options that can be picked up and enjoyed on the move with a takeaway tea or coffee. Operators looking to update morning offerings, will consider current trends for vegetarian, healthier and indulgent breakfasts and morning treats, and accompany these dishes with on-trend continental bakery alongside. “

Looking at Brioche Pasquier’s range, their croissants can be enjoyed as a soft and flaky alternative to toast or given an uplift by filling with savoury options. They are delicious filled with scrambled eggs and smoked salmon or bacon and tomato. For a vegetarian option, try halloumi, avocado and chilli jam. Simple but delicious dishes such as a bacon sandwich served in a brioche roll, poached eggs with smashed avocado on brioche toast or a croissant filled with cheese and ham go down well throughout the morning.

With the growing trend for cleaner, healthier eating there is greater demand for products free from preservatives, artificial colours, flavours and hydrogenated fats. When it comes to bakery, consumers want to know the products they enjoy are made from high quality, wholesome ingredients and baked to traditional recipes, like those supplied by Brioche Pasquier. The unique starter dough ‘levain’ gives the products their trademark taste and longevity without the need for preservatives, a boon for wholesalers, retailers, operators and consumers alike as the products stay fresh for up to 21 days, thus reducing waste and prolonging usability.

In another move Brioche Pasquier’s famous Pains au Lait have recently been re-named Brioche Rolls, communicating the type and quality of the product. These versatile rolls are perfect for breakfast, mid-morning snacks and lunch as they are delicious with savoury or sweet flavours. In the breakfast market, Brioche Pasquier’s are also known for their Croissants and Pains au Chocolat, which come in long lasting packs of six, perfect for a take away breakfast to eat on-the-go.

Brioche Pasquier’s new ‘Baking Life’s Special Moments’ campaign invites consumers to submit photos of themselves celebrating special moments in their lives. Supported by experiential samplings, a radio campaign and bus stop ads and with a prize of £2,000 of travel vouchers and a year’s supply of brioche, the competition runs on-pack to October across a wide range of morning bakery products including Brioche Rolls, Brioche Rolls Chocolate Chip, Brioche Loaf, Pains au Chocolat and Croissants.

Finally Brioche Pasquier have recently created new packaging across their brioche and viennoiserie, including Croissants, Brioche Rolls, Brioche Rolls with Chocolate Chips and Pains au Chocolat. The new packaging has a definitive French feel, with clearer labelling and information and a recipe suggestion on each pack.

The UK part-baked bread category’s sales value is growing 2.4% year on year, says Heather Burgess, Head of Marketing for Paul Hollywood at St Pierre Groupe. Part-baked breads such as the Paul Hollywood Ready-to-Bake Range, owned by SPG, have particular appeal with time-poor consumers looking for quick, convenient sandwiches and meal accompaniments that benefit from longer shelf lives than fresh bread.

St Pierre Groupe has also recently launched Stonebaked Flatbreads as part of the Paul Hollywood range. The flatbreads are made in Italy, using an authentic recipe and techniques such as hand-stretching the dough before baking. The Stonebaked Flatbreads are available for wholesale, in response to consumer demand for diverse and innovative bakery options. In wholesale, Paul Hollywood’s Ready-to-Bake range has grown 7.5% in value year on year.

The Paul Hollywood range appeals to consumers who want their part-baked bread to meet the quality of their homecooking. It currently consists of Crusty Rolls, Multi-Seed Rolls, Rustic Rolls & Sourdough Rolls, all RSP £1.70. The best-selling products are the Crusty Rolls & Multi-Seed Rolls, which have sold over 7.7 million packs to date. The Paul Hollywood Ready-to-Bake range offers quick and convenient solutions, while also providing the quality and taste of bread freshly baked at home.

Consumer research conducted by St Pierre Groupe shows the rolls are mainly used alongside homecooked meals such as soups, stews and other one-pot wonders. They are also regularly used to create sandwiches for breakfast, lunch and snacks any time of day. In research consumers said they buy the ready to bake rolls because they want great quality bread that is freshly baked at the time of eating, not the time of buying.

With the Paul Hollywood Ready-to- Bake range already a firm consumer favourite, St Pierre Groupe have set their sights on the flatbread category, which has seen year on year growth in supermarkets of 12.7%. The new Paul Hollywood Stonebaked Flatbreads, RSP £2.00, bring variety to wholesalers looking to expand their offering. Each pack contains two Flatbreads, made with extra virgin olive oil and durum wheat and baked in a hot volcanic stone oven for a truly authentic flavour.

To help drive sales of the Paul Hollywood Ready-to-Bake range and Stonebaked Flatbreads, St Pierre Groupe is launching a dedicated Paul Hollywood bread website, including videos and photography. A social media campaign will highlight the range throughout the year, focusing on the Flatbreads this summer and the Readyto- Bake rolls in Autumn and the run-up to Christmas, when consumer appetite for part-baked products is at its highest.

St Pierre Groupe has also announced some more launches for its Baker Street brand, taking it into a new home baking sector. The Baker Street Sponge Flan Cases are aimed at both retail and foodservice customers and make it easy for everyone to unleash their inner Mary Berry and create quick, delicious desserts. Available in medium (100g) and large (200g), the flan cases are ready baked and just need to be filled and decorated. With a minimum guaranteed life of 60 days, the sponge flan cases and cake layers are efficient and versatile solutions for both retailers and food service.

The Sponge Layer Cakes (400g), in Classic (plain) and Chocolate, lessen prep time and serve a delicious treat. With little more required of end users beyond filling and decorating, they answer the demand for products that offer convenience and ease of use for time-poor consumers.

ARYZTA Food Solutions is enabling wholesalers and their retail customers to boost in-store bakery profits by tempting shoppers with several delicious new ‘treat’ products, ideal for eating on-the-go or take-home. With research showing 42% of in-store bakery shoppers buy due to ‘temptation’, higher than the convenience average of 14% for outlets without an in-store bakery, ARYZTA’s new products create additional opportunities to attract shoppers with delicious sweet treats, driving additional sales of impulse and take-home products. The new products include Almond filled croissant, Chocolate filled croissant and Caramel Heaven.

“With 52% of shoppers choosing taste over health benefits when snacking on the go, our new pastries and sweet treats enable retailers to boost appeal among shoppers looking for breakfast on the go or an indulgent afternoon snack, fulfilling the treat mission right through the day into early evening,” says Paul Maxwell, Marketing Manager at ARYZTA Food Solutions UK.

ARYZTA’s coffee solution, Seattle’s Best Coffee, integrates stands to hold breakfast pastries and muffins, enabling retailers to increase shoppers’ basket spend and upsell to them while they’re waiting for their coffee to pour. From 2pm onwards, traditional food-togo and drink-to-go missions begin to slow down, however the treat mission continues to hold up during the afternoon and early evenings.

Snacking on bakery products remains incredibly popular, with 93% of adults indulging in a snack, 63% of them doing so once a day or more. The latest additions join several tray bakes and pastries added to the ARYZTA range last autumn, Classic Chocolate Brownie and Cheesecake Swirl Brookie tray bakes and in pastries, Lemon Danish Plait, Mango & Passionfruit Crown, Blueberry Danish Crown Duo croissant with raspberry filling and Duo croissant with chocolate hazelnut filling.

Lantmännen Unibake UK has tapped in to the British public’s love of classic flavours with the launch of a new Cherry Bakewell Plait Danish Pastry, as part of its growing Schulstad Bakery Solutions range. Featuring 24 layers of light flaky pastry, a sumptuous cherry remonce filling, topped with flaked almonds, the brand’s signature glaze and hand finished with white icing, the new addition is set to add value to the Danish Pastry category, which is already seeing 68.5 million purchases a year.

Inspired by the popular format of the brand’s Maple Pecan Plait, the UK’s best-selling Danish Pastry, the Cherry Bakewell Plait allows consumers to enjoy the much loved flavours of a Cherry Bakewell in a new format. The NPD is perfect for an on-the-go morning treat or an afternoon pick-me-up.

With 50% of consumers stating that a sweet pastry is the perfect accompaniment for a hot drink and 72% saying they would make a joint purchase at least once a week the Schulstad Bakery Solutions range expansion will help retailers continue to capitalise on the incremental sales food and drink pairings offer.

Kate Sykes, Marketing Manager at Lantmännen Unibake UK comments: “Traditional British flavours are experiencing a significant resurgence. It is therefore imperative that brands work with customers to explore ways to bring these flavours to life across new formats and consumption occasions.

“When it comes to Danish pastries, almost half of consumers (48 percent) seek out traditional flavours. We’ve developed our New Cherry Bakewell Plait to deliver a taste that consumers know and love, in a format that’s a bit different, encouraging more consumers into the Danish pastry market.”

Soreen, manufacturer of the nation’s favourite Malt Loaf, has been running an on-pack promotion offering the chance to win a new bike every day. The new promotion is supported by Lapierre – a brand synonymous with quality bikes – and is designed to get shoppers and Soreen lovers more active by providing access to bikes.

Mark Simester, MD at Soreen said: “We’re not only committed to fueling cyclists and families in a healthy way through nutrition, we are also invested in people’s wellbeing and lifestyle. That’s why we launched the Soreen Cycle Project last year, to encourage more people to get active, get on their bike and remove some of the barriers to cycling.”

Featured on the majority of Soreen packs, the promotion gives purchasers the opportunity to win £50 off a Lapierre adult bike, or 10% off a kid’s bike, valid online and in-store from ‘The Edge’ range. A winner is drawn every day. To support the new promotion, Soreen’s micro-site, the Soreen Cycle Project, provides all the details behind it and explains how new Soreen purchasers and regular fans can be in with a chance to win. Consumers can visit the site from the homepage of the brand’s main website or via www.soreencycleproject.com.

Soreen were recently the official supplier to the Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour de Manc, and will be fueling riders on the Tour of Britain in September. Soreen’s on-pack promotion follows swiftly after the launch of their new Seeds & More Loaf, a tasty and healthy addition to the morning goods category.

Stork, one of the biggest brands in British baking is back in the news. Upfield Foods, the business that owns Unilever’s former spreads assets, introduced a new packaging design for its Stork Original and Stork Block variants. The refreshed packaging for both products features pink spots, for better stand-out on shelf. The update has been designed to recruit younger customers into the category, specifically appealing to millennials and motivating them to bake.

In addition to the splash of pink on the packaging, both products now also contain clearer propositions designed to entice customers. Stork Original contains ‘The secret to light and fluffy cakes’ messaging, while Stork Block carries the message ‘The secret to prefect biscuits, scones and pastry.’ The new pack design was supported by an above the line marketing campaign. Stork is the UK’s No.1 baking spreads brand with an 80% share. Stork is designed for use in baking and has been a staple in kitchens for almost 100 years.