A recent survey conducted by the Craft Bakers Association (CBA) has predicted record sales of hot cross buns this year, with 3 in 4 bakers identifying them as the most popular Easter product.
Many bakers are predicting that sales of hot cross buns will be significantly higher than last year. 77% of bakers expect to sell more this year, with 73% saying they think they will sell between 500 and 5,000 and a small number (3%) even predicting that they will sell over 1 million.
The survey also revealed a growing trend toward alternative flavours of hot cross buns. This Easter, bakers will offer flavours including dark chocolate (35%), apple & cinnamon (28%), toffee (14%) and coffee or mocha (7%).
Savoury flavours, while less common, are also being sold. 7% of bakers will be selling cheese flavoured hot cross buns, while sourdough buns have also proven popular with 14% of bakers offering them this year. This is an indication of the continued growth in popularity of sourdough, first identified in a previous CBA survey in which 34% of bakers revealed they would be introducing a sourdough bread in 2021.
In order to ensure consumer demand is met and bakers further capitalise on this demand, hot cross buns are being sold weeks ahead of Easter. Almost half (45%) of bakers started selling hot cross buns in March and a quarter have had them on sale since February. Some bakers (12%) even offer hot cross buns all year round.
Daniel Carr, Warings Bakery based in Reading said: “Hot cross buns have always been an obvious choice for customers at Easter and we expect this popularity to continue. Alternative flavours are proving particularly popular, which is why in addition to our traditional hot cross bun, this year, for the first time in our history, we are offering two new flavours – apple & cinnamon and caramel & chocolate chip.”
Read more of the latest industry developments in our new edition: January/February 2022 Single Issue form – International Bakery (in-bakery.com)