European bakery products manufacturer Baker and Baker has launched a heart-shaped doughnut in the UK, in preparation for Valentine’s Day, and stands as an example of how the company is supporting its customers through the current cost-of-living crisis, the company has said.
The heart doughnut has a soft eating doughnut base with a pink, strawberry flavoured icing and white sugar strand. The doughnut contains no artificial colours, flavour or preservatives and is suitable for vegans.
“Our recent cost-of-living research indicated it can no longer be business as usual for bakeries, food service operators and retailers if they want to remain competitive,” said Helen Sinclair, UK marketing manager at Baker & Baker. “The heart-shaped doughnut will enable our customers to offer tasty treats to consumers which will be in demand on days such as Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.”
The research in question – titled, ‘The Impact of the Cost-of-Living Crisis on the Sweet Bakery Category’ – demonstrated sobering evidence about how the cost-of-living crisis is impacting both bakery businesses and consumers. With Collins’ 2022 word of the year ‘permacrisis’ aptly reflecting a period of economic instability and insecurity, the research found that 95% were concerned about a recession, 72% believe they will feel the impact of the recession by the summer of 2023, and 24% are feeling the effects already.
For the sweet bakery category in particular, evidence showed that 57% of respondents saw the cost-of-living crisis would impact on purchasing of sweet bakery products in the run up to the Christmas period. Now, only one in five (22%) consumers purchase sweet bakery products several times a week, compared over a third (36%) pre-crisis; spelling out trouble for bakeries and producers looking to continue operating profitably.
Baker and Baker’s CEO John Lindsay recently contributed a guest feature to International Bakery revealing insights into the doughnut market and its opportunities.
“The cost-of-living crisis and inflationary pressures have had a significant impact across all of continental Europe and the UK,” he wrote. “Despite these challenges, consumers continue to seek moments when they can enjoy a treat as part of their daily routine, which opens up opportunities for categories such as doughnuts.”
Rethinking strategy during the crisis has become a common theme among bakery manufacturers, as our Big Interview for the January/February issue, David Wagstaff, Managing Director of St Pierre Groupe, told us of us his optimism during such a time: “Now is a great time for retailers to lean into premium brands … beyond price point,” he said. “Preparing and consumer better-quality foods along with entertaining guests at home is once again becoming more convenient.”
You can read the interview with David Wagstaff in our latest issue here.
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