What would make Brits buy more bakery products? Consumer survey reveals all

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

What better way to celebrate National Croissant Day with Délifrance’s bestseller. Pic: GettyImages/Mypurgatoryyears
What better way to celebrate National Croissant Day with Délifrance’s bestseller. Pic: GettyImages/Mypurgatoryyears

Related tags Delifrance Bread viennoiserie patisserie savoury baked goods vegan Gluten-free

The quest for health, a plant-based lifestyle, artisanal experiences and flavour experimentation may be shaping the UK bakery market, according to Délifrance, but there’s still room for indulgence – especially on National Croissant Day tomorrow (January 30).

The latest edition of the French-style bakery provider’s annual report – entitled ‘Prove It: The Great British Bakery Report’ – reveals that nearly a quarter (23%) of the nation is eating more bakery products than before, thanks to the increase in variety and quality.

When it comes to the key categories of bread, Viennoiserie, pâtisserie and savoury baked goods, today’s Brits want treats that will pique their sensory expectations – think bold, unusual flavours,  surprising textures and novel ingredients, especially those that impart additional benefits, like added fibre, high protein and probiotics for healthy ageing.

The UK consumer is also in search for products with a provenance and authenticity, and come with a story.

Bread matters

However, taste and flavour (70%) continues to dominate purchasing decisions, ahead of freshness (56%) and price (40%).

According to the report, 29% of Brits say they would buy more pâtisserie products if there was a wider range of flavours, and 43% would buy more if there was a wider choice of healthy options.

Four in 10 Brits (40%) eat bread daily, with 44% of them claiming to have changed the type of bread they buy, with all age groups opting for wellness-focused wholegrain/wholemeal (around 65%), sourdough (55%) and seeded (53%) options.

Delifrance bread

Délifrance’s bestsellers

“Christmas may have passed, but there’s still room for a little indulgence on National Croissant Day,” ​said Stéphanie Brillouet, marketing director for Northern Europe, and North America, Délifrance, noting that butter croissants continue to be a key bestseller for Délifrance in the UK.

Délifrance’s social listening insight also found the croissant reigns supreme with consumers as the most talked about Viennoiserie product on social media, dominating 74% of the conversation.

However, the report revealed 42% of consumers said they would buy more croissants if there were healthier options and 28% would buy more if there was more variety.

Most of the respondents (75%) choose freshly baked Viennoiserie ahead of cakes (64%), muffins (52%) and savoury pastries (50%), typically eaten for lunch. Noticeably, 17% said they would buy more savoury products if there were more vegan options.

Consumers prefer a savoury grab-and-go option for a busy day, with 43% of them claiming to eat them at least once a week. 29% of men eat savoury pastries a few times a week.

Delifrance savoury

Grab your share

According to Global Data, the UK bakery market is currently worth £11.5bn, predicted to grow 1.3% by 2022. This presents significant opportunities for smart operators.

“Our new insight has defined general consumer trends as well as the unique behaviours and demands of different demographics,” ​added Brillouet.

“We’ve also listened to what’s dominating online conversations and revealed the factors that would make consumers buy more bakery products.

“Consumers are quick to take to social media with bakery. To wow the Instagram cohort, suppliers and operators will search for new ways to achieve that ‘colour pop’, delivering on the key trends of artisanal, healthy and indulgent – all at the same time!

“Of course, authenticity and storytelling elevate these experiences, too, as provenance, clean-label recipes, seasonal themes and ingredients intrigue consumers who are looking for something unique.”

Delifrance Vienoisserie

Other key findings

  • London is the most health-conscious region of the UK, despite 43% of residents eating more pastries than before.
  • One in three would buy more pastries if there were more gluten-free options. According to Mintel, the gluten free market continues to surge with a 13.5% year-on-year growth in 2010, currently valued at £394m.
  • Macarons are favourite for 42% of Londoners, while 63% of Welsh consumers opt for a tart.
  • Nearly half of Brits (43%) said they buy more patisserie products if there was a wider choice of healthier offerings, however, 59% still have a soft spot for anything chocolate.
  • Delifrance pattiserie
  • Men have increased their consumption of bakery goods more than women (25%), however, women care more than men about the type of bread and its calorie/fat content.
  • 27% of consumers aren’t getting through a whole loaf at home and have to toss it as it has gone stale or mouldy. One in four people freeze their bread instead.
  • A third (36%) of consumers enjoy exploring regional varieties of mainstream ethnic cuisines to try new favours and foods, and 32% are willing to pay extra for authentic ethnic fare.
  • Artisanal is a rapidly growing channel in urban areas across the UK, with sales focused on high quality, traditionally baked fresh breads, with considerably higher retail selling prices.

Délifrance’s findings were drawn from a UK-wide consumer survey of 1,000 adults, Delve Insights (social listening tool), its own market estimations and insight, external market data, and opinion from bakery operators and the Food and Beverage Manager’s Association (FBMA).

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