UK lunchbox trend forces bakers to up variety amid foreign invasion

By Oliver Nieburg

- Last updated on GMT

Keynote says that adults are increasingly bringing lunch to work. Photo credit: Flickr - latente
Keynote says that adults are increasingly bringing lunch to work. Photo credit: Flickr - latente

Related tags Baker Bread Baking

Bakery manufacturers in the UK are assessing ways to spice-up their product mix as adult consumers look for variety in their at-work lunchboxes and foreign bakery grows in popularity, according to a report from Keynote.

Keynote’s Bread and Bakery Products Market Update 2012 report said that many adult consumers in UK were taking their lunch to work and eating dinner at home amid a volatile economic environment. These consumers want choice when preparing their meals, said the report.

Diversify product-mix

“Although bread remains a food staple in the UK, the market is evolving,”​ it said.

“The bread and bakery products market is mature and saturated with similar products”

“As a result, manufacturers are increasing variety in flavour and format. This is to prevent consumers’ lunch experiences from becoming repetitive and mundane,” ​it continued.

Lunchbox meals

The report pointed to research that showed 70.8% of lunchbox meals were now consumed by adults, who are taking their lunches to work to save money.

Our sister publication The Grocer reported last year that the lunchbox sector was worth £5.5bn, having grown 1.8% on the previous year.

Keynote said that manufacturers must diversify their rolls range to include both white and wholemeal options, and also look to the growth of flatbread ‘pockets’.

Some manufacturers have spotted this trend. In February last year, Warburtons launched Square-ish Wraps and Sandwich Thins, while Kingsmill introduced Pockets in white and 50/50 formats a few months later.

At-home foreign accompaniments

Kingsmill pockets
Keynote observes a growing trend for flat breads, such as Kingsmill Pockets

Keynote added that financial uncertainty had also created a dining-in trend, which may also spell new opportunities for bakers.

“With consumers choosing to stay at home in order to save money, manufacturers are enabling them to reconstruct the restaurant experience at home by introducing meal kits and accompaniments, bread included,”​ said the report.

Speciality accompaniments bread could be the answer as the popularity of foreign bakery goods soars, it said.

The report pointed to Sharwood’s diverse range of chapattis and naans and Discovery and Mission Foods’ flour and wholemeal tortillas.

Keynote expects total UK household expenditure on bread and baked goods to rise 18.4% to £5.61bn compared to 2010 figures with demand for speciality breads and foreign bakery products among the key drivers.


Keynote, Bread and Bakery Products Market Update 2012 27th​ Edition, May 2012
ISBN 978-1-84729-864-5
Edited by Katie Hughes readers can obtain a 15% discount on the full report by entering this code: BRBAK12

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