First, the good news: the long-term decline in the bread market has slowed in the past year. And the bad news: volume has been driven by the lowest prices seen in a decade.
Any way you slice it, it’s been a tough year for Britain’s bakers. Bread has become a key weapon in the grocery price war, and average prices have fallen 4.7% [Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 1 February 2015]. But the average belies far steeper cuts in the price of some of the most popular 800g loaves - with brands as low as 75p and some own label down to 55p.
Against a backdrop of declining market value - and high-profile delistings - suppliers and retailers are asking themselves how they can drive value back into the category. The price drops have contributed to £90m being wiped off the value of the wrapped bread market in the past 12 months. This is a decline of 5.4% year on year, according to Kantar, compared with the 0.3% dip recorded a year ago.
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