Source: Pexels

Focus On: Bread and baked goods by Ash O’Mahony

Download feature synopsis PDF here

Publishing: 4th May

Advertising deadline: 25th April

Submissions deadline: 15th April

The Story

Bread has seen its fair share of challenges of late. Yet despite rising ingredient prices and the threat of Brexit, the category actually managed to bag £95.4m worth of additional sales last year, with almost every sector contributing to growth. So, what are the key challenges facing the industry? And what can be done to overcome them?

Main themes

Rolls: Shoppers were looking for variety with their bakery purchases last year, a trend that greatly benefitted roll sales. The sector enjoyed the highest absolute gains last year, adding more than £25m to the category in additional sales. Which brands and retailers are tapping into demand for variety in rolls, and what are opportunities for further growth this year?

Starting the day with a treat: Breakfast treats continued to fly off shelves this year with the fastest volume growth across the category, and, while own label holds the majority share of the sector, branded growth far outstripped own label this year. Which brands are capitalising on Brits penchant for croissants, and is the sector’s current growth sustainable in the year ahead?

Gluten free: With demand for free-from products picking up pace across the supermarket, how is the gluten free aisle developing? Where are the innovations and who is leading the way in free-from bread?

Premiumisation: Higher average prices propped up volume sales last year to keep the category in growth. Why were shoppers willing to pay more across the (bread) board, and to what role did premium NPD play in encouraging higher spend?

Challenges ahead: What are brands and retailers doing to best future-proof their business in the wake of Britain’s impending exit from the EU? How are key players in the category responding to ingredient price hikes, and are these increasing costs expected to continue in the year ahead?

Health: Retailers managed to bump own label health sales up 21.6% last year through their focus on lower calorie and lighter options. Who are these products successfully targeting, and how can brands up their own health credentials for a slice of the action?

Brands vs Own Label: Own label stole shoppers and market share from brands last year, outstripping their branded counterparts in both value and volume sales. How much of own label’s success is being driven by discounters, and how can brands get back in the game (and back into growth) this year?

Sandwich alternatives: What were the top innovations targeting shoppers who wanted a change from the standard sandwich last year? How can brands drum up some excitement in the sector?

Innovations: We identify four new products that ideally have not appeared in The Grocer before. 

Kantar data: Using Kantar commentary, we explain the reasons behind the rise and fall of certain sub-categories.

Nielsen data: Using Nielsen commentary, we explain the reasons behind the rise and fall of the top 10 brands.

Online Listicle to go live on 3 May: What are the main innovations & how are they shaping the market