More tea, Tesco? Revival in British tradition prompts cakes range launch

By Vince Bamford

- Last updated on GMT

Afternoon tea has enjoyed a revival in the UK. Photo: iStock - Rixipix
Afternoon tea has enjoyed a revival in the UK. Photo: iStock - Rixipix

Related tags Baking

Tesco has launched a range of cakes designed to tap rising demand for traditional afternoon tea in the UK.

Afternoon cream tea – a British tradition of drinking tea and eating cream cakes or scones with cream – has undergone a revival, according to the supermarket chain.

Interest has been boosted by the popularity of TV show The Great British Bake Off (which aired under the name The Great British Baking Show in the US), with half a million more UK shoppers buying c​ream cake than five years ago (Kantar Worldpanel 52w/e March 2016 vs March 2011).

Tesco said its shoppers bought 4.5 million more luxury cream cakes in 2015 than the year before, and has this month launched new products such as gateaux, tarts, meringues, sponges, roulades, brownies and cream slices.

Mango and passion fruit tart

The range includes an Alfonso mango and passion fruit tart; a Belgian chocolate and salted caramel tart; and a raspberry and almond tart in the retailer’s premium-tier Finest range (see full list below).

Afternoon tea is one of Britain’s greatest culinary traditions​,” said Tesco cake range buyer Rosie Bambaji.

The trend took off in hotels and restaurants thanks to the huge popularity of shows like The Great British Bake Off and afternoon tea has once again established itself as an occasion at home, with shoppers treating friends and family to cakes at informal get-togethers​.” 

Battenberg cake sales up 45%

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Tesco added that among the bakery products to have enjoyed a surge in popularity are Battenberg cake (with sales up 45% year on year), Apple turnovers (up 35%), strawberry and cream slices  (up 30%), custard tarts (up 15%) and fresh cream profiteroles (up 10%).

The Great British Bake Off host Paul Hollywood last year teamed up with Mr Kipling cake brand owner Premier Foods to launch artisan-inspired baking mixes including Tomato & Thyme Bloomer, Garlic & Herb Tear 'n' Share Bread, and Luxurious Belgian Chocolate Brownie.

New and renovated Tesco cakes

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