Blog: Katy AskewThe roller-coaster of home-baking sales

Katy Askew | 28 April 2015

Home baking category sales have had something of a roller coaster ride in recent years. 

In 2012, research from Mintel proclaimed the rise of home baking in the UK a “recipe for success”. Two years on, Mintel was asking if the category was "set to crumble" with sales down 6% on the year. The research firm flagged growing concerns over sugar consumption in the public eye. 

The ups and downs of the category are equally pronounced throughout the year. Peak seasons include obvious events like Christmas and Pancake Day. It has also come to follow the scheduling pattern of the hugely popular BBC programme The Great British Bake Off. 

Interest in home baking has largely been kick-started by the British Bake Off, which has captured the public imagination as amateur bakers pit their skills against one another in yet another – albeit more quaint – talent show format. Who, now, doesn't know someone whose interest in baking has been sparked? 

A portion of these newly-converted bakers won't stick at it. But with more people trying it out and gaining the skills necessary to produce home baking wonders, many will. This bodes well for the long-term health of the category, even if the short-term sales jump is waning. 

It is now up to companies in the home baking sector to keep these new customers interested and generate excitement through product launches. Unlike many other areas, however, NPD in home baking walks a fine line. It is about enabling consumers to create – not about creating products in their totality. It is also about making products accessible. 

Food manufacturer Princes said today (28 April) that it is rolling out smaller product sizes and a digital campaign to achieve just this. The group's Trex, Crisp ‘n Dry and Britannia brands is replacing 500g formats with a 250g offering. Trex and Crisp ‘n Dry Solid 250g are priced at 79p RRP. Britannia Beef Dripping 250g is priced at 69p RRP. 

Graham Breed, convenience channel marketing director for Trex, Crisp ‘n Dry and Britannia, said: “We are already seeing an increase in frequency of purchase, reflecting the number of times a year people are visiting the fixture, especially since we moved to 250g. The smaller pack will appeal to new and light users, suiting their usage and provide a lower purchase price.” 

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