The rise of grandparents as carers is giving an unexpected boost to home baking. One in three working mothers relies on their parents for childcare, according to the action group Grandparents Plus.

In a national sample of more than 100 over-60s in June this year, brand agency Dragon Rouge discovered a new-found commitment from grandparents to share cooking experiences with their grandkids and teach them about how to grow and make the things that we eat, with home baking a popular way to convey this.

Sample comments from over-60 focus groups included: "We always make cakes when the grandkids come to stay. They love it getting messy, seeing something take shape and I feel I've passed on my knowledge to them"; and "to be honest, my daughter can't cook so I feel it's my duty to teach my grandchildren."

The feeling of a 'lost generation' of parents who didn't learn to bake due to the rise of fast food and ready meals was common among many who took part in the study.

Dragon Rouge senior consultant Clare Simpson advises that in order to grow the market, home-baking brands need to focus their attention on appealing to older generations of cooks and the grandchildren they are now teaching.

"Packs of Victoria sponge mix insult the sense of adventure and sophisticated tastes of today's grandparents and grandchildren," says Simpson.

"Baking brands should harness grandparents' skill and passion in new directions but do so in a healthy and fun way. One where they can pass their knowledge of cooking and love of good food both tastes from their childhood (heritage tastes) and new tastes they've picked up along the way to the new generation."

Focus On Home Baking