About The Bread Industry
About The Bread Industry
The UK Bakery market is worth £3.5 billion and is one of the largest markets in the food industry. Total volume at present is approximately just under 4 billion units; the equivalent of almost 11 million loaves and packs sold every single day.
There are three principal sectors that make up the UK baking industry. The larger (plant) baking companies produce around 80% of bread sold in the UK. In-store bakeries (ISBs) within supermarkets produce about 17% and high street retail (craft) bakers produce the rest.
Market share of UK bread production by value and volume
|% by value||% by volume|
|Large plant bakers||78||80|
Plant bakeries produce mainly wrapped bread on a large scale. Three quarters of all the bread consumed in the UK is wrapped and sliced – for convenience, for keeping qualities and value for money.
Most (but not all) plant manufacturers produce bread for sale under retailer labels — including convenience stores and major multiple retailers — as well as their own branded breads.
The three largest manufacturers in the plant sector are Allied Bakeries (Kingsmill), Premier Foods (Hovis) and Warburtons. The largest of these is Warburtons, which has seen rapid expansion, moving from third to first place in the last 5 years. These three manufacturers account for almost ¾ of the bread market by value.
ISB (in-store bakery) bread is bread that is baked in-store. All of the large multiple retailers have ISBs in all, or most of their stores.
There are 2 methods for ISBs: scratch bakery using raw ingredients or bake-off using dough which is part-baked and frozen. Most plant bakers supply ISBs with their own part-baked and frozen products, but many of the larger ISBs now have scratch bakeries making bread fresh from raw ingredients.
Most of the increase in market share enjoyed by supermarket ISBs has been at the expense of the smaller craft bakers and these are increasingly appearing in other types of retail outlet, including smaller convenience stores and garage forecourt shops.
Craft bakers bake bread and bakery products on their own premises and this sector has been declining for many years, squeezed by competition both from plant bakers and multiple retailers. Many craft bakers have now diversified into catering and takeaway food, and some are now also supplying supermarkets with craft-baked bread.
The Foodservice Sector
In common with other food markets, an increasing amount of bread is being sold for consumption outside the home. Between 5% and 10% of total bread volume is estimated to be sold to the foodservice uses.
In contrast to the UK, craft bakeries still dominate the market in many European countries which means that exports of bread and bakery products currently account for only a very small proportion of the total market. However there is increased interest on the continent in importing fresh sliced and wrapped bread from Britain, mainly for the growing sandwich market. A number of UK plant bakers also export part-baked and frozen bakery products to retailers and the foodservice industry in Europe and elsewhere.
For further information on the UK bread industry please refer to our current Annual Report and Factsheet on the UK Bread Market which are available to download from the publications section of the website.