"No one needs to make bread at home, yet it's happening and it's being driven by the bread making machine," says Westmill Foods marketing director David Reay. Westmill's faith in the machines has led it to label its flour for dual cooking ­ conventionally and in automatic breadmakers ­ and this includes its latest range of speciality bread recipes, Just for Bread. Between 150,000 and 200,000 breadmakers were sold in 1999 estimated to be worth £15.3m [Source: IER Business Book 2000]. These machines, although slower to penetrate the UK market, are now beginning to make an impact partly because of the interest generated from TV cookery shows, but more importantly they have become affordable. Morphy Richards product group manager David Williams says: "Two years ago you would have paid £170 for a machine. We now have an entry price point of £49.99 for a machine which provides a baked loaf in three hours. There's also a fast bake model which can bake a loaf in 80 minutes." The company is revising its usage instructions to make them easier to understand. "Some people don't realise these machines do all the work, mixing the ingredients together and baking, so new point of sale is being introduced to explain what the machine actually does," says Williams. All the machines can also be used to make pastry, pizza dough, cakes and jam. Opportunities for smaller, less "boxy" machines and more features are on the agenda, but not lower prices. "Volume is doing well and there is no point taking the price below £49.99. If you did that, there would be no profit for either the retailer or the manufacturer," says Williams. {{FOCUS SPECIALS }}