Home baking rises to help save dough

Paul Hollwood with cakesThe Great British Bake Off is happening at home if new research is to be believed.

As many as 41 million Brits - that's 79% of adults - bake at home. Almost a quarter (23%) of adults bake at least once a week. And a staggering one in 20 (6% - or three million) of us are baking every day. And the figures are – like a baker's dough - on the rise.

On a knead to know basis

Research firm Mintel found that in the last year alone, as many as 22% (equating to nine million) of home bakers claim to have upped their baking.

Mintel reckons the market for home baking rose a spectacular 59% between 2007 and 2012 to reach a delicious £1.7bn, as cash-strapped Brits whipped out their flour boards and donned their pinnies to save their dough.

Mintel's baking research also highlights the inspiration cookery shows are bringing to Britain's households. It said some 44% of Britain's bakers say they have been inspired by cookery shows to bake more, increasing to more than half (54%) of the nation's young bakers, the under-25s.

Top five items baked in the last 12 months

  • Standard cake (e.g. Victoria Sponge, Carrot Cake etc) 50%,
  • Small cakes (e.g. Cupcakes) 49%,
  • Batters (e.g. Pancake, Yorkshire Pudding) 40%,
  • Biscuits / Cookies (39%) and
  • Sweet Puddings (e.g. Crumble, Pavlova) 34%.

Save your bread

Emma Clifford, senior food analyst at Mintel, said: "Home baking is one of the few food categories to have flourished during the recession, in fact the onset of the economic downturn actually helped to kick start the revival in home baking.

"With real incomes under strain, Britain has become more of a stay-at-home nation and consumers have sought low-cost activities such as baking to save money."

"But while the economic downturn may have helped to reignite interest in home baking, its revival cannot solely be attributed to economic pressures and it is clear that many Britons have embraced baking because of its enjoyment factor.

"The explosion in the media on the topic has made home baking more accessible than ever, drawing more novice cooks to the baking aisle and helping the more experienced to develop their baking prowess."

Who got a bun in the oven?

While the nations' men filled the finals of The Great British Bake Off, it's actually Britain's women who remain the keener bakers, with nine in ten (90%) baking. But seven in ten (68%) men bake and almost a quarter (22%) of male bakers are baking at home more than they were a year ago. Just 13% are baking less.

Clifford said: "Male celebrity bakers such as Jamie Oliver, the Fabulous Baker Brothers and presenter of The Great British Bake Off, Paul Hollywood, are helping to raise the profile of baking among men. As a result, men are becoming more engaged in baking.

"However, men bake less than women, and bread is the only baked good that male bakers are more likely than women to make. Enticing more male non-bakers to try their hand at baking, and encouraging those who do to bake more frequently and expand their baking repertoires, has potential to spur further growth in the market."

Icing on the cake

Encouragingly for the future of the industry, the younger generation emerge as the keenest bakers. Some 79% of 16-24 year olds bake from scratch compared with 70% of those aged 55 and over.

But the youngster prefer the ready-prepared baking mixes. The proportion of consumers who bake using mixes is 74% of 16-24 year olds but just 57% of those aged 55 and over.

False economies in a recession

False economies in a recession

More stories