Fatherson boss: trends and challenges for handmade cakes

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Key bakery trends, plastic packaging and the threat of Brexit are all on the mind of Fatherson Bakery managing director and owner Laurence Smith, covered in this exclusive video interview.

Filmed at Fatherson’s production facility in Alcester, Warwickshire, Smith identified the key trends in the baking industry that are driving the business forward – including vegan and gluten-free.

“We launched back in March a range of to-go bars, which are doing phenomenally well,” ​said Smith. “We’ve managed to secure listings with many of our retailers and we’re getting some great rate of sale and repeat orders there.

Demand for provenance

“We know that there is an increased demand for provenance and we are very well placed with our product range, locally sourcing our sugar and many of our other ingredients – including award-winning flour – to be able to create those handmade, hand-decorated cakes to address that consumer need.”

Smith also commented on the growing issue surrounding plastic waste in the bakery sector, which had informed the company’s packaging strategy.

“All of our blisters are now made from 100% recycled and 100% recyclable plastic and, by the autumn, we will have eliminated the cellophane around our products in preference for a plant-based material, which is sustainable and biodegradable,” he added.

Challenges and Brexit

When asked about the challenges facing the bakery sector, Smith immediately pointed toward the looming threat of Brexit. In response to the UK’s departure from the EU, Fatherson has future-proofed the business to the best of its ability.

 “We source everything locally, our products are made in the UK, so we feel as though we are in a good position for anything that forms out of Brexit,”​ said Smith.

Meanwhile, West Yorkshire-based baked goods manufacturer Just Desserts has revealed plans to expand the business by 50%​, supported by a trio of new hires.

Related topics: Bakery, Veganism, People & Skills

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