Home baking’s biggest brands have slashed spend on traditional advertising space in the past year, with the 10 biggest spenders forking out £1.9m, a fall of almost of 50% year on year.

That doesn’t mean they’re ditching above-the-line marketing altogether, of course. Many say they are investing more on digital channels rather than conventional TV, print, radio and billboard ads. Social media, tie-ups with bloggers and standalone websites are all proving effective ways of engaging with home bakers, say brands.

The Sliver Spoon Co, for example, uses website bakingmad.com to interact with bakers, share recipes and drive sales of its core brands: Silver Spoon Sugar, Billington’s Natural Unrefined Cane Sugars, Nielsen-Massey Vanillas and Flavours, and Allinson Flour.

“With over 4.7 million unique annual users and a consistently growing member base year on year, BakingMad.com provides the perfect platform to fully integrate our marketing content to drive our baking brands and retain our authority in baking,” says Louise Vickers, head of brands and product development for The Silver Spoon Company.

“With BakingMad.com, we have an asset that can drive measurable return of investment for our customers and our category-leading brands. Our marketing strategy is centred on ensuring our brands are present at that point of inspiration and visible throughout the baker’s journey, and we will continue to evolve the BakingMad.com platform to help inspire our nation of home bakers.”

Market leader Dr Oetker, meanwhile, takes a more multichannel approach, spending £1.5m on space in traditional channels while delivering digital content such as recipes and demonstration videos to its 125,000 followers on Facebook. This year, the brand will be targeting key seasonal events with its advertising, says head of marketing Jan McKee.

“Continuing to create excitement and inspiration for consumers, campaigns will focus around seasonal occasions in order to drive sales within key periods such as Halloween, Christmas and the Great British Bake Off,” says McKee. “Seasonal events are worth £65m to the home baking category and make up 40% of the category’s sales.”

Home baking’s biggest advertisers (52 w/e 29 February 2016)

MediaTOTAL CinemaOutdoorPressRadioTV
Brands Spend (£) Y-O-Y % % % % %
Dr Oetker £1,475,722 -44.08% 0% 0% 35% 0% 65%
Truvia £149,690 34.40% 0% 0% 100% 0% 0%
Whitworths £104,668 148.66% 0% 0% 100% 0% 0%
Betty Crocker £38,932 - 0% 0% 100% 0% 0%
Nielsen-Massey £30,310 - 0% 0% 100% 0% 0%
Billington’s £18,161 136.04% 0% 0% 100% 0% 0%
Sweet Freedom £13,521 10.14% 0% 0% 100% 0% 0%
Jus-Rol £12,379 -98.47% 0% 0% 100% 0% 0%
Conscious World £8,408 - 0% 0% 100% 0% 0%
Splenda £6,750 -57.67% 0% 0% 100% 0% 0%
TOTAL (Top 10) £1,858,541 -48.91% 0% 0% 48% 0% 52%

Here’s our pick of three of the year’s most significant home baking ads…

The Silver Spoon Co: Bakingmad.com


Okay, this isn’t an ad; it’s an entire website. Baking Mad is proof of what can be done online with a bit of smart thinking and investment. It’s a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach, with more than 1,500 recipes displayed in a simple, easily navigable grid format. The photography is as sumptuous as the recipes. Home baking heaven!

Betty Crocker: Easter with Betty

Simple but effective, a bit like Betty’s cake mixes. With seasonal events a key opportunity for home baking brands, Betty cooked up this ad for its Zesty Lemon Cake Mix last Easter to appeal to those of us who want that home baking experience without the faff. All bakers need to create this slice of lemony perfection is Betty’s cake mix and icing and a few other ingredients.

Truvia: From Nature for Sweetness

With everyone from home bakers to soft drinks players seeking low-calorie alternatives to sugar, it’s little wonder stevia is tipped for big growth. This simple, if somewhat bizarre, ad sums up what stevia is all about: a natural sugar alternative with none of the nasty associations that synthetic sweeteners such as aspartame suffer from. Still, we have no idea what those cappuccino hugging ladies are supposed to be…

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