New consumer research¹ from bakery brand, Baker Street, has identified an emerging phenomenon – breadvenience. Whether the sun is shining or snow is falling, bread is clearly very much an essential for all ages - but the research showed convenience is also key for time pressured consumers, who expect to be able to buy bread when they want it and in the format that is most convenient to them.
The research² found that bread going stale too quickly at home was the biggest frustration (49%), followed by not having bread at home (42%), retailers being out of stock of bread (36%) or loaves only being available in a large pack size (32%). Freshness was the most important criteria for 78% of respondents and 42% stated that a longer shelf life was what they looked for when buying bread.
Yet YouGov research, showed that despite bread being seen as an essential staple, many time-pressured consumers do, it seems, run out of bread. The research found that 22% of British adults (who gave an answer) admit to running out of bread most often in a typical week, second only to milk (38%) and way ahead of third placed fruit (13%). Those most likely to find themselves without bread were 45-54 year olds - with 27% running out of bread, compared to only 17% of 18-24 year olds. Not surprisingly, running out of bread was higher among households with two children (27%) and those with teenagers aged 12 to 16 years old (28%). There was also a regional bias with those living in the East Midlands being most likely to run out of bread (33%) versus those in the South West (11%).
And, while we may remember people stockpiling bread in the snow hit regions last winter, the survey shows bread is high on the shopping list, whether it’s hot or cold. Nearly half of consumers who gave an answer will buy some form of bread, be it a loaf (24%) or burger buns/ hot dog rolls (25%), during hot, sunny weather. Purchasing burger buns and hot dog rolls during hot weather was highest among 18-44 year olds (33%) and there were also regional variations with 36% of people in the South West buying this BBQ staple followed by Wales (34%) and the North West (30%). People living in the North East were more likely to buy a loaf of bread than burger buns during hot weather, with 35% of those in the North East buying a loaf compared to 20% buying buns and 29% of those in Scotland doing so compared to 27% buying buns.
Come the winter and cold, wet weather, a loaf of bread rises up the rankings to become the second most common food product to purchase, with 42% buying a loaf of bread in these weather conditions, second only to soup (58%) and ahead of milk (36%) and hot puddings (35%). Buying bread during wintry conditions was highest among the over 55 age group (48%) and those living in the North East (56%), South West (50%) and Wales (49%).
Jeremy Gilboy, managing director of Carrs Foods, which owns the Baker Street brand comments: “We have been aware of the foodvenience trend for a while, whereby consumers plan much less, so shop across numerous retail channels each week to buy what they want when they need it. Breadvenience clearly follows this trend as people expect to be able to buy bread when they want it and in the format they need it in.
“Our Baker Street brand’s fresher for longer positioning was well received in the research, as consumers appreciated the fact that it would keep for longer, helping to ensure they don’t run out of bread and it won’t go stale. In addition, the variety of products is an important factor, with consumers opting for smaller loafs and for food occasion products such as burger buns and hot dog rolls, in hot, sunny weather.
“As we approach the back to school / back to work season, retailers should ensure their bread aisles are fully stocked with a broad variety of bakery products to suit the demands of today’s consumer.”
Carrs Foods invested £500k in the relaunch, this year, of its fresher for longer brand, Baker Street. The range of 18 products includes rolls, burger buns and sliced loaves, which are all cleverly packed to help retain freshness, thereby ensuring a longer shelf live without compromising on quality.