Awareness of nutritional labelling impacting bread sales, analyst

08 April 2011

Foodnavigator.com (8/4/2011) reported on UK market analysis by Kantar Worldpanel showing that the decline in sales of  white bread and hike in sales of brown bread in the UK is a reflection of how consumers there are opting for loaves with more dietary fibre and nutrients. According to new figures, sales of sliced white loaves in UK supermarkets fell by 1 per cent in 2010, while brown bread sales increased by 6 per cent and seeded batches by 9 per cent. Nearly 65 percent of brown bread was purchased by people aged forty-five or older.

The declining sales figures for white bread are an indicator of the extent to which shoppers are studying nutritional labelling and how this is having a significant impact on buying behaviour. Consumers are increasingly demonstrating a willingness to cut down on groceries previously considered a part of the staple diet in the country. However, it is important to understand that while sales of white bread have declined, revenue figures are still considerably higher than the brown bread market, - meaning it will be sometime until brown bread sales surpass sales of white bread. Brown bread still only accounts for around 27 per cent of the 12 million loaves sold each day in the UK, compared to 66 per cent (or 7.9 million sales) for white bread.

Meanwhile, a recent report by IBIS World, evaluating the bread manufacturing industry in Australia, predicts that sales of breads that have been enriched or fortified with nutrients are growing by 10 to 15 per cent a year. Traditionally Australian consumers based bread purchasing decisions on taste, quality, packaging, price and use-by-dates, but the report outlines how Australian consumers are now making bread choices based on health attributes.

The research also revealed the increase in demand for specialty breads including focaccia, sourdough, panini will be an additional growth driver over the next five years.