UK bread market returns to growth during pandemic | New


The UK bread market is on track for 3.5% value growth and the highest sales volume since 2015, according to the latest data from Mintel.

These figures were revealed during a webinar titled ‘The Impact of Covid-19 on Bread and Baked Goods’, hosted by the British Society of Baking (BSB).

Sales in value for 2020 are expected to reach £ 3.5bn, an increase of 3.5% from 2019 and 4.5% from 2018. This is mainly due to the larger segment of the market , prepackaged bread, which is expected to grow 6% in value. over one year to £ 1.8 billion. Specialty breads and rolls, meanwhile, forecast double-digit growth of 11% to £ 1.1 billion.

“Until 2019, the overall situation in the retail bread market was one of declining volumes,” said Emma Clifford, associate director of UK food and beverage research at Mintel.

“This has been fueled by a number of different factors, but it’s mainly because bread has had to compete with an ever-growing range of different breakfasts and lunch alternatives. Competition from the restaurant business has also intensified, which has steadily reduced sales. Of course, with the pandemic, everything is changing this year. “

Volume sales are expected to increase by 5% in 2020 with 1.78 billion kg of bread sold. This represents a 4.6% increase from 2019 and, if achieved, would be the highest bread sales volume since 2015.

Although the picture is generally positive, some sectors of the retail bread market have suffered. In-store bakery sales in value are on track for a 14% drop from 2019, from £ 668million to £ 574million.

“Sales of in-store bakeries have been hit hard due to their temporary closures but also because of concerns about the safety and hygiene of unpackaged products,” she added.

Market breakdown

White bread was the ‘star’ of prepackaged bread, with UK retail sales value set to rise 8% to £ 930million. Part of this, she added, is due to its recognition as comforting and pleasant food. Bread with chunks, meanwhile, is expected to grow by 7% while sales of brown bread remain stable.

Bagels and wraps also increased their hold in the breakfast and lunch markets with value growth of 22% and 17%, respectively.

Looking ahead, Mintel believes sales will drop again, but at a slower pace than before.

“2020 is of course a bumper year, but sales will drop again next year as more breakfasts and lunches are consumed away from home again,” Clifford said. “However, volume sales are expected to remain higher than they were before the pandemic and the rate of decline is expected to be slower, so we expect the positive influence of the pandemic on the market to be lasting. . “

As for sales by value, Clifford said they will also decline next year, but after that inflation will keep them growing for the next several years. The potential impact of Brexit would also play a role in raising prices.

To find out what effect the pandemic has had on the UK cake market, read our latest article: How has the coronavirus affected the UK cake market?

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