Great British Bake Off fuels consumption of 1.5bn sweet bakery and dessert treats each year, NPD Group reports

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With applications closing for the next Great British Bake Off in January 2016, figures from global information company The NPD Group reveal that our appetite for sweet-tasting bakery and dessert products has taken off since the BBC programme started five years ago.

For the year ending September 2015, we munched our way through a record 1.5bn servings of all items in the sweet bakery and dessert categories (comprising cookies, tea biscuits, scones, pastries – including Danish, muffins, doughnuts, croissants, tarts, pies & crumbles, cakes, puddings and brownies). This is up +5.5% on the previous year and some +9.2% more than for the year ending September 2010. The Top Five sweet bakery and dessert goodies account for more than 1bn of the 1.5bn servings (table below). Since the year ending September 2010, annual servings of cakes are up +9.6% (36m extra servings) and it’s a similar story for croissants (up +21% over five years: 27m extra servings), cookies (up +18% over five years: 23 extra million servings),brownies (up +72%: 62m extra servings) and muffins (up +27%: 30m extra servings).

Muriel Illig, foodservice account manager, The NPD Group, said: “Has the Great British Bake Off stimulated our appetite for these treats? Yes, the figures show that when it comes to servings of the Top Five sweet bakery and dessert favourites it’s very much a case of the Great British Bakery and Dessert Take-Off. With another Bake-Off series next summer, we’ll once again watch tasty bakes come to life – and many more of us will be tempted by these goodies.”

Cake crazy and brownie bonkers
We have certainly been buying more bakery items in the five years since the Great British Bake Off started in 2010. We munched our way through 780m sweet bakery servings during the year ending September 2015 – that’s 76m (around 11%) more than five years ago. The figure for dessert servings is 677m– some 7.4% more than five years ago. Our appetite for cakes was especially keen with over 406m servings in the year ending September 2015, while our appetite for brownies is shooting up too with servings jumping 72% to 149m in the same year.

But British bakeries are not celebrating
Are our high-street bakery outlets celebrating in the face of this growing demand for sweet bakery and dessert treats? The answer is no because they are not capturing this growing business. Bakery shops have seen little growth overall in sales of sweet bakery and dessert items over the past five years. While the total market grew 9.2% over the past five years in terms of servings, bakery shops only increased business by 2.5% over the same period. Bakeries even faced a 3.1% decline in servings in the year ending September 2015 compared to the previous year. Bakers face strong competition from other suppliers, in particular our popular high-street coffee shops, which notched up 186 million servings of sweet bakery and dessert treats for the year ending September 2015, 8.9% more than the previous year.

Illig said: “What’s in store for the future? Is the hunger for baked indulgence growing? Consumption of sweet bakery and dessert products could easily increase as the Great British Baking Revolution continues.”