French pastries oust British breakfast baked goods

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Bread

Zut alors! French pastries are threatening to oust traditional British baked goods as the nation's breakfast favourites
Zut alors! French pastries are threatening to oust traditional British baked goods as the nation's breakfast favourites
French pastries, such as brioche and pain au chocolat, are increasingly replacing traditional British baked goods, like English muffins, on the nation’s breakfast plates, according to new research from market research group Mintel.

Last year brioche sales rose a tasty 25% from £31M in 2010 to reach £38M.

Sales of pain au chocolat climbed by 14% over the same two years up from £22M to £25M last year.

While the humble slice of toast remains the nation’s favourite breakfast, eaten by up to 81% of Brits, French pastries are consumed by nearly a quarter (23%).

More traditional bread and baked goods are preferred by 24% of consumers. But this segment has achieved significantly slower growth.

For example, hot cross bun sales have risen by 7% over the past two years to reach £33M last year compared with £30M in 2010.

The market for English muffins has fallen by 3% from £25M in 2010 to £24M last year.

All things French

One bright exception to this swelling tide of preference for all things French was the cream tea favourite – scones. Last year the scones market was valued at £33M, up 19% from £28M in 2010.

Alex Beckett, senior food analyst at Mintel, said: “French baked goods such as brioche have recorded impressive value growth, suggesting Brits are developing a stronger taste for sweet bakery goods. The fact that these goods can be eaten at breakfast could suggest that this growth is to the detriment of sliced bread. Bread brands can capitalise on this cosmopolitan trend by introducing a wider variety of sweet baked goods to their portfolios.”

In addition to soaring demand for French pastries, researchers have also noted that bagels have achieved outstanding performance in the UK morning goods market. During the past two years, sales have rocketed by 48%; up from £33M in 2010 to £49M last year.

Sales of speciality bread, including wraps, naans, bagels, pittas, baguettes, chapattis and paninis, have increased by 8% over the two years.

Household essential

But amid the growing popularity of all things foreign, bread still holds its status as a household essential. Last year it was eaten by 97% of Brits with the core segment - the wrapped sliced bread worth £1.9bn last year.

“Bread is a quintessential household staple food, eaten by the overwhelming majority of British consumers in the UK last year,”​ said Beckett. “However, annual sales partly reflect a slight decline in the share of adults who eat bread daily.”

Meanwhile, the total market for UK bread and morning goods registered a slow annual growth rate of just 2% between 2010 and 2011, according to the latest research from Mintel​. Sales reached £3bn last year, compared with £2.9bn in 2010.

Related topics: Bakery, Cereals and bakery preparations

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