Trends for winter 2022: Brits want bakes that make a bigger statement, but maintain that healthy balance

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Expect to see cakes to soar to great heights this winter. Pic: GettyImages/fourseasons
Expect to see cakes to soar to great heights this winter. Pic: GettyImages/fourseasons

Related tags BFF Limited British bakes ambient cakes trendspotting World cup Health and wellness Middle east

Cakes are expected to reach greater heights than ever before as Brits seek solace, enjoyment and added value during the bleaker winter months – especially in this hard inflationary environment – but bakers must not take their eye off the all-pervading demand for healthier options.

BBF Limited – a leading UK manufacturer of ambient cakes and chilled desserts for retail – has released the results of an indepth analysis into the biggest bakery trends for winter 2022.

Brits want bakes that make a bigger statement, give a modern twist to that much-loved classic, will be seeking out for ‘warmer’ flavours – such as those from the Middle East – but  maintain that a nod towards a healthier balance.

What to expect on shelf?

Overloaded bakes

Adding perspective to cakes is one of the biggest trends of 2022 and is certain set to continue – if not soar. According to BFF, as we head into winter and the Christmas season, bakery shelves will see oversized celebration cakes with lots of added decoration.

“Not only are overloaded bakes aesthetically pleasing, but they also offer value for money appeal, which consumers will be prioritising over the coming months.”

Sweet but savoury

Cake toppings get a makeover, with savoury options replacing the more traditional ones like brownie pieces, broken biscuits and sweets.

“Pretzels, popcorn and waffles will prove to be popular as not only do they offset the sweetness, but they also offer colour contrast.”

Warmer flavours

From Middle Eastern-inspired notes to modern twists on much loved classics, shoppers are expected to sway towards warmer, more comforting flavours. Think cinnamon and cardamom – possibly rose – but don’t forget favourites like sticky toffee, salted caramel and of course, as we head into the season, pumpkin spice.

Healthy balance

Consumers across the world are focusing more on healthier alternatives, and Brits no less so – demanding clean label, natural and lighter products, even from the indulgent bakery sector.

Bakers are coming to the fore, especially with products deemed HFSS (high in fat, sugar and sodium) soon to be hit by regulations. Expect to see more alternatives like honey, fruit, seeds and nuts, replacing sugar, for example.

“As we approach the colder months, consumers will be increasingly seeking small moments of joy,”​ said Jonathan Lill, CEO of BFF Limited.

“Our desire to seek out comfort in moments of stress is likely to lead many people to seeking out nostalgic, comforting flavours.

He added it will be interesting to see the impact this year’s World Cup will have on the eating habits of Brits.

“Normally, the sporting event takes place over the summer months, so we see summer snacking products in high demand with friends and families coming together to watch the game over a BBQ.

“But, with the sporting event taking place in winter this year, we’re expecting all year round products – such as mini-rolls, cupcakes and apple pies – being a popular snacking option.”

BFF, as usual, will be there with the goods to suit World Cup parties, along with any occasion that needs something special – even those small ‘me time’ moments.

With five bakers in the North of England and one in Poland, the company produces more than 600 million cakes and desserts annually for the retail channel.

BBF was acquired by private equity firm Endless in 2015, appointing a new management team lead by Lill and increasing capacity and doubling turnover with the bolt-on of Greencore’s Cakes & Desserts Division in 2018. In 2021, BBF purchased Sargents Bakeries Limited, adding sweet pies, tarts and sundaes to its product range together with a new customer base in foodservice.

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