The challenges and prospects ahead for the UK artisanal bakery sector

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

CBA members weigh in with what's expected to be in store in 2022. Pic: GettyImages/Petar Chernaev
CBA members weigh in with what's expected to be in store in 2022. Pic: GettyImages/Petar Chernaev

Related tags Craft Bakers Association artisanal bakeries market trends 2022

The Craft Bakers Association (CBA) has disclosed the trials and opportunities craft bakers expect to face in 2022.

A survey among its members has revealed that rising costs, along with both staff and product shortages, are the sector’s primary concerns.

The association’s entire membership said an increase in overheads in 2022 is unavoidable, which will  ultimately filter down to consumers.

Nearly 60% also believe the new year will dish up big challenges when it comes to sourcing ingredients, which could result in product shortages.

They are also worried about staff shortages in 2022, a scenario that most already experienced in 2021.

More than half of the CBA’s members said the general lack of experience among candidates was a key reason they had struggled to fill vacancies over the past year, while 41% said applicants didn’t have the necessary knowledge or skills set to fit the job.

On the plus side

Looking ahead to the trends that bakers predict will impact them most in 2022, the most popular is healthy eating (45%), followed by plant-based (40%), waste (40%) and shopping locally (40%).

Nearly 1 in 4 (24%) think sourdough will continue to resonate with consumers, while 1 in 5 (21%) expects customers to seek out small and affordable luxuries, with 10% of the CBA’s membership saying snacking will continue to be the trend to watch. 21% see the desire for nostalgia and retro lasting well into the new year.

With the pandemic still rampant, 14% believe online ordering will continue to shape consumers purchasing.

Other key trends are the increased incorporation of grains and seeds in bakery goods and the desire for natural, along with personalisation to satisfy the myriad of trending lifestyles.

“After seeing firsthand the way craft bakers have responded to the challenges of the past 18 months, we are confident they will meet the challenges expected in 2022 with the same tenacity, creative thinking and determination and that they will make the most of the opportunities the next year presents,”​ said George Fuller, chairman of CBA.

“As always, here at the CBA we will be here to lend our members advice, encouragement, and support.”

Currently representing around 500 bakery businesses across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the CBA works to works to create a sustainable future for the sector. Members can access a host of benefits, such as online and inhouse training; advice on health and safety, environmental health advice and employment law; and government lobbying on legislation.

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