Insight from previous years demonstrates that Christmas is a key sales period for the £48m part-baked bread category in the UK, with rate of sales increasing more than threefold between October and December each year.
Data reviewed by analysts at St Pierre Groupe show category growth of more than 42% year-on-year.
However, according to the international bakery business, COVID-19 is also helping to fuel sales in the category as consumers look to longer-life products to help reduce frequency of shopping trips.
The just baked feeling
Paul Baker, founder of St Pierre Groupe, said the category has come into its own throughout the pandemic.
“It’s a great store cupboard staple with extended shelf life and, even better than that, it gives that ‘just baked’ feeling at home – so even those who didn’t pick up new culinary skills during lockdown can have fresh-baked bread at home.
“This bodes well for Christmas when the category always experiences growth.”
St Pierre’s Paul Hollywood range, in particular, has notched up record sales in recent months.
“Our Paul Hollywood Ready to Bake range experienced increased sales this year, with sales up 64%. Looking at the data though, we’d forecast an additional 25% uplift this Christmas.
“As the biggest brand in the part-baked category in the UK, sales of the range during the first lockdown exceeded the previous Christmas period. With restrictions now back in place across the country, shoppers will be looking to stock up on their favourite bakery goods even earlier this year and spending more time at home has put a greater emphasis on meal times.
“There’s nothing better on a winter’s day than tucking into home baked bread and part of the appeal of part-baked is that it allows for that, with minimal effort.”
The Paul Hollywood Ready to Bake range – which is worth £7.2m, with a 15% share of the market – includes Rustic Rolls, Crusty Rolls and Multi-Seed Rolls, available in grocery, wholesale and convenience channels in packs of four across the UK.