Warburtons bakewell squares

Warburtons’ single-serve cakes went on sale at Waitrose this week

After expanding into free-from bread and snacks, Warburtons is now moving into the cake market for the first time.

The baker has developed a range of four cakes: chocolate brownies, Bakewell squares, lemon cakes and millionaire’s shortbread.

Available in multipacks of four, the single-serve cakes went on sale in Waitrose this week (rsp. £2.49). They will be sold exclusively there for six months, after which Warburtons will look to roll them out to other retailers.

The launch is the latest example of Warburtons’ strategy of diversifying beyond the shrinking sliced bread market. In recent years, it has moved into snacks, free-from bread and wraps and thins.

“It is part of our continued desire and commitment to grow in the bakery category,” said Warburtons commercial director Jason Uttley. “We also see a gap in the market for a premium café-style cake product. Hopefully, we can bring a bit of energy and excitement into the category.”

He said research indicated customers would welcome a cake range. “When we ask our consumers what we should be doing, they tell us Warburtons should bake cakes,” he said.

Initially, a baker based near Warburtons’ headquarters in Bolton will manufacture the cakes for the company. If they prove successful, Warburtons will eventually look to make the cakes itself.

Earlier this year, Warburtons relaunched its free-from range under the sub-brand Newburn Bakehouse and rebranded its pitta chip snacks as Warburtons Escapes.

Uttley said Newburn Bakehouse was performing well, growing month on month, while it was still too early to judge the more recent relaunch of the snacks range. Sandwich thins were growing particularly strongly, he added.