New research released by European bakery manufacturer Baker & Baker has highlighted the impact the cost-of-living crisis is having on the sweet bakery category in particular, as bakeries, food service operators and retailers are encouraged to take note.
The research, which centered around a survey involving 1000 UK consumers, was undertaken in the final quarter of 2022 by Sapio Research. The noteworthy finding is that it can no longer be “business as usual” for bakeries, food service operators and retailers, as only one in five consumers feel their spending hasn’t changed as a result of the cost-of-living crisis.
Examining more specific answers in detail, when consumers were asked “When you buy a sweet baked good now, what do you prioritise?” outside of diet, the top three reasons consumers gave were related to price, flavour and quality.
In response to the question “How do you intend to deal with the situation?” the top three answers consumers gave were trying sweet baked goods from discount stores, buying non-branded sweet bakery goods and switching from a premium to standard tier baked good.
“The research brought up some interesting findings,”explained Helen Sinclair, UK Marketing Manager at Baker & Baker. “And while price is a major factor on purchasing decisions as disposable income is squeezed, the research highlights that people are responding in different ways – indicating “value for money” is very much a consumer priority but this does not necessarily mean they are looking for cheaper, lower quality goods.”
For businesses, concerns revolve around an economic recession (95%), while others believe they will feel the impact of the recession by the summer of 2023 (72%) and 24% say they are already feeling the effects of the recession already.
Independent analysis conducted by Sapio Research is included in the report, alongside tips on how businesses can remain competitive during these challenging times. Tips include demand-led baking, getting creative to reduce SKUs and ticking to familiar flavours; a recipe card is also include to provide businesses with inspiration on how they can turn “waste into wow” – using waste byproducts as toppings in bakery products such as doughnuts, brownies and cookies.
The company says that more Bakery Bites reports will be published throughout 2023, looking at other key issues impacting the bakery industry. Last year, Baker & Baker released a Bakery Bites report exploring the rise of vegan bakery and the opportunities it offers to producers.
The report can be accessed here.
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