With the global pandemic on a scale like none of us have seen before, and hopefully won’t see again, food became a huge focus for many people. The Craft Bakers Association (CBA) has reported that some members saw sales of indulgent bakery products such as cakes, muffins and doughnuts rise significantly during lockdown, as the nation sought to find some refuge in sweet treats and shoppers often chose to buy these from local bakeries. In a new survey* of members of the CBA, 60% said indulgent products such as cakes had been their best sellers over the past ten weeks.
During lockdown many people ate all their meals at home, including lunch – the meal that most of us, from school children to adults, usually eat elsewhere. As a result, shoppers were looking for easy, versatile and familiar meal solutions – and bread proved to be one of the most popular foods they selected. Fifty percent of those surveyed by the CBA reported an increase in sales of bread and a further 16% said their sales had continued at the same level as prior to the pandemic – indicating how bakeries both maintained and attracted new local customers.
Home baking has been widely reported as a major trend during lockdown, which is reflected in the survey. Thirty eight percent of respondents said that flour and yeast were amongst the most popular lockdown purchases and one bakery even saw a 240% increase in sales of flour.
The high street baker has always played an important role on the local community, but it seems that people came to appreciate this even more during lockdown. As well as providing the essentials such as bread and flour (when perhaps it was hard to buy elsewhere), sweet treats made by a local baker also offered customers the ‘pick me up’ they needed to help them through more difficult days. With 63% of respondents saying they have gained new customers over the past ten weeks and the trend for shopping locally set to continue, all of this bodes well for the future of the craft baker.
*Craft Bakers Association (CBA) Member survey, June 2020. 40 respondents.
About the Craft Bakers Association (CBA) www.craftbakersassociation.co.uk
The Craft Bakers Association (CBA) represents approximately 500 bakery businesses in England, Wales and Northern Ireland – from startups to established bakeries – supporting a total of 3,000 shops on the high street (alongside wholesale companies and specialised confectionery businesses).
The Craft Bakers Association has been the voice of the sector since 1887, working alongside its members to ensure a sustainable future for craft baking. Members can access a host of benefits including health and safety and environmental health advice, online and in-house training, employment law advice and government lobbying on legislation.