Vaasan set to develop Danish bake-off sector

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Finland Sweden Nordic countries

Finnish bakery group Vaasan said it is intent on developing the bake-off market in Denmark following its acquisition of a 50 per cent stake in the Danish company Nordic Bake-off.

The producer of fresh bread, bake-off and crisp bread products said that the Danish pastry producer, Mette Munk, will continue as co-owner.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed but Vaasan said the move will strengthen its position as the leading bake-off producer in the Nordic region. sought a comment from the Finnish group regarding the deal but this was not forthcoming prior to publication.

Vaasan bake-off operations target the retail and food service sectors in Scandinavia and the Baltic countries, with production facilities based in Joutseno in Finland as well as Fagersta and Gotland in Sweden.

In its most recent annual report, the group stated that its bake off business area has continued to grow steadily, with the mid-2008 acquisition of Norwegian bake-off company Culinor providing it with a strong foothold in that market, while growth continues apace in its bake-off operations in Sweden.

Recession proof

The bake-off breads market has been protected by a layer of recession-proof crust, with the key factors in increasing growth in the sector being premium products and in added-value inclusions such as nuts and seeds or sun-dried tomato, cheese or olives, according to our sister publication, British Baker​.

Délifrance UK's commercial controller Alan Moutter told that publication in February this year that consumer interest in premium bake-off breads is still strong. Around 70 per cent of the firm's business is in bake-off breads, with French and Continental breads, as well as some traditional ranges are sold across retail and foodservice.

"Year-on-year, consumers continue to respond to more Continental and premium offerings,"​ says Moutter. For example: "The super-premium sector, particularly artisan stone-baked products, is showing growth of approximately 15-20 per cent year-on-year."

With more families eating in during the downturn, Délifrance has noticed an increase in sales of the once-niche organic, stone-baked, artisan, sourdough and flavoured breads.

French bakery manufacturer Bridor says the bake-off market is moving towards products that represent a ‘promise’ to the consumer for example, country of origin and taste as well as new flavours, shapes and uses.

Bake-off breads currently represent around 20 per cent of the firm's sales. However, this looks likely to increase to 30 to 35 per cent over the next two years if current trends are anything to go by, according to Bridor.

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