STORY: Craft Bakers and the Year Ahead

Whilst the cost of living crisis has brought and continues to bring, many challenges for the craft bakery sector, a recent CBA survey indicates that bakers hope that there are also opportunities ahead, as they expect consumers to change some buying habits in response to the financial crisis.


In 2023, bakers think convenience will be popular amongst customers with almost half (46%) of bakers expecting their customers to shop locally. A similar amount (41%) is expecting lunch on the go to also grow in popularity. These changes to buying habits are potentially driven by the rise in the cost of living, which has seen customers encouraged to support small, local businesses and has also resulted in a decline in some consumers eating out, especially for lunch.


However, the tough economic climate is unsurprisingly worrying bakers as they look to the New Year and beyond.  As the cost of fuel and ingredients rises for bakers, half are concerned about a potential decline in sales as a result of increasing prices for consumers. The results indicate that 55% bakers believe demand for low-cost loaves will increase and people will be less inclined to treat themselves with more indulgent products, including personalised items.


Whilst 2022 saw the continued growth in consumer interest in their own health, going into 2023, only 3% of bakers see HFSS regulations as a challenge and 52% will not be making changes to their offerings.


Karen Dear, Director of Operations at Craft Bakers Association commented: “There’s no question that the ongoing cost of living crisis has posed a threat to our members and the craft bakery industry in 2022 and we aren’t expecting this to end anytime soon. However, we are continuously working hard, alongside our members, to ensure sufficient support is available and we are pleased to see that despite obvious concerns, our members still see some opportunities ahead. Our members have shown tremendous resilience and innovation over the last two years, despite unprecedented challenges and I am confident that they will continue to do so and ultimately, that the sector will continue to remain resilient in the current climate.”

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