Millennials defy Brexit to embrace continental baking: NABIM

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Millennials are embracing baking European favorites at home, like croissants. Pic: GettyImages/yacobchuk
Millennials are embracing baking European favorites at home, like croissants. Pic: GettyImages/yacobchuk

Related tags NABIM home baking Iri Kantar worldpanel

A survey by the National Association of British and Irish Flour Millers (NABIM) has revealed that younger British bakers (18-25 year olds) are embracing Parisian specialities like croissants and Pan au Chocolate.

According to NABIM, 80% of Brits across all age categories have flour in their pantry cupboard, despite the downturn in home bakery sales.

Annually, UK mills produce approximately five million tons of flour – generating £1.25bn in turnover – which make about 12 million loaves of bread, two million pizzas and 10 million cakes and biscuits every day – commercially produced.

Only 4% of it finds its way into a consumer’s panty, though, with glaring statistics noting that Brits, on a whole, are baking less.

According to IRI for the 52 weeks ending May 25, 2019, both sweet and savory baking occasions were down by 8% versus the year prior.

Kantar Worldpanel sales data for the year ending March 24, 2019 noted the average shopper made 2.2% less home baking trips than the year before and volumes fell 1.5% across all categories.

Flour was down by 2%; sugar by 1.6%; cake coverings by 11.2%.

Rise of premium and European treats

However, NABIM’s survey found there is a band of diehards – buoyed by the fever pitch generated by televised baking competitions like The Great British Bake Off – that is keeping the hobby intact, claiming they bake at least once a week.

More than 30% of them described it as therapeutic.

There is also a definite shift towards high-end baking with IRI data reporting an 8% ​growth in the premium ingredients sector.

Despite the country’s looming break from the EU – or maybe because of it – classic British favorites are taking second place to European face among the younger generation.

While 53% of bakers have baked a loaf of bread – including 51% of 18-24 year olds and 60% of over 65s – only 20% of millennials have made an old fashioned Bread & Butter Pudding, compared to 50% of the latter group.

Conversely, 41% of millennials have made croissants (just 9% of 65+ year-olds) and 35% have crafted their own Pain au Chocolate (3% of the more senior group).

Surprisingly, when it comes to creating confections at home, NABIM’s survey respondents said they weren’t too particular about health (51% said sugar isn’t a concern when baking) and appearance (24%  said they have dropped a bake and still served it).

Additional results found 38% bake at home to save money; but 40% of those with a household of 3+ are too time-strapped to bake.

The pull of Bake Off

When it comes to GBBO – which is deep into its 10th​ season on UK’s Channel 4 – nearly all the survey respondent said they were ‘ready and waiting’ to appear in the famous tent; 11% of UK bakers believe they are a better baker than some of the contestants; and 3% think they’d be the lucky recipient of a prized Hollywood Handshake.

The survey also found 66% of GBBO viewers want to eat something while watching the show; 57% are inspired to actually get baking after it; and 43% dash to the shop to satisfy their craving.

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