Sugar debate halts baking’s popularity

By Laurence Gibbons

- Last updated on GMT

The debate over sugar has turned people off baking
The debate over sugar has turned people off baking

Related tags Baking

Demand for baking ingredients and kits is set to crumble as health conscious consumers look to avoid sugar and spend less time in the home, according to a report by Mintel.

Mintel’s research indicated that a third of consumers that had baked at home in the past year were now limiting how often they baked sweet goods for health reasons.

Emma Clifford, senior food analyst at Mintel, said: “While concerns about health are nothing new, the escalating debate surrounding the dangers of sugar in 2014 is likely to have been particularly damaging to the home baking market.”​ 

Three in 10 (31%) agreed they often look for ideas to make recipes healthier, the report stated.

Appeal to the health-conscious

Home baking manufacturers should do more to ensure they appeal to health-conscious consumers by emphasising that there are many ways to experiment with healthier baking, Clifford said.

Despite a surge in popularity for home baking, as a result of television programmes such as The Great British Bake Off​, consumers were now beginning to spend more time out of the home, Mintel claimed.

“Consumers’ tendency to spend more time in the home to save money during and after the recession provided an ideal climate for home baking to thrive in,” ​Clifford added. “Nowadays there are a vast number of sources for bakers to get inspiration from – with The Great British Bake Off proving to be a runaway hit.

“However, with the economy rebounding, consumer confidence improving and people more willing to go out and have fun, home baking faces intensifying competition for people’s free time.”

While more than 85% of UK adults baked at home in 2013, this figure dropped to just over three quarters (77%) in 2014, Mintel claimed.

The amount of Brits baking from scratch also dropped from 80% in 2013 to 73% in 2014.

Those baking partially from scratch also dropped from 72% to 67%.

Sales and demand drop

Following this fall in consumer demand, retail value sales of baking mixes are expected to drop from £59M in 2012, to an estimated £52M in 2014.

Although home baking value sales increased from £1.41bn in 2009 to £1.79bn in 2013, sales are expected to fall by 2% to £1.76bn in 2014.

Retail sales of cake coverings, decorations, culinary aids and cooking chocolate are expected to rise.   

In order to maintain the appeal of baking, brands should focus on the importance of baking as a life skill that could be handed down through the generations, Clifford claimed.

“In this way, they could encourage the older generation to teach their grandchildren how to bake,”​ she added. “As well as a learning activity, this can also be positioned as a means for them to spend quality time with their families.”

Last year, bakery ingredients firm Zeelandia’s boss David Amos said the sector’s sexy image was attracting young people​.

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1 comment

Home baking is the perfect way TO control ingredients

Posted by Sharon Davis, Family & Consumer Sciences Education,,

Learning to bake, make ingredient adjustments and use whole grains, fresh fruits, veggies, reduce fat and above all control portions is the perfect result of know how to bake. I hope all will actually get that they can have control AND enjoy fresh baked goods! is a great resource.

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