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The Great British Bake-off is back on our screens and now with its primetime BBC1 slot, activities in the tent are hitting headlines. Last week’s episode saw tempers flare as the retro Baked Alaska show-stopper task ended in one contestant binning his bake! With drama high in this year’s show, it’s clear to see what has us all hooked. But with trends switching to healthy eating and free-from diets is this continuing to translate into the frenzy of baking at home?

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The Great British Bake-Off launched on our screens in 2010 at a time when spirits were low and purse-strings tight, post-recession. This light-hearted competition captured the nations’ hearts and fuelled resurgence in home-baking among all ages, a past-time generally thought to be practised by the older generation. Cupcakes became the must have for any special occasion and forget that dry shop-bought sliced bread, sales of bread-makers rocketed as enthusiasts attempted to bake their own.

Pastry swirl

This trend has continued as the show’s popularity has grown, reaching its peak this year as it moves to a primetime position on BBC1. But is the hunger still there for home-baking? According to a recent study by Mintel, reported in The Grocer, the number of Britons baking at home has fallen from 85% in 2013 to 77% current year. In addition, sales of home-baking ingredients are also expected to decline in the current year. Is this evidence that our love of baked good is on the way out?

Macmillan Cake Sale 035

Mintel believes that as the economy starts to rebound, this has led to a shift in priorities. As confidence returns, consumers that were tending to stay in and save their pennies are now more likely to go out and have fun, willing to spend more on little luxuries.

This is great news for the catering industry. As consumers are more prepared to treat themselves, the trend in baking turns to the high street. Within the last few years there has been a surge in popularity for cake shops and bakeries in London and around the country. The likes of Konditor & Cook has become famous for its Curly Whirly cake and old favourites such as Primrose Bakery and Hummingbird performing so well they have opened new branches.

Chocolate tiffin

However, the key to success in these changing times is the ability to cater for different diets, such as gluten and dairy free. Ms Cupcake in Brixton is the first entirely vegan bakery offering cookies, cakes, savouries and much more.

Here are just a few more of the latest trends in baking, to help you stay ahead of the game:

  1. Free-from – with many more consumers suffering from gluten and dairy intolerances, professional bakers are having to look to new methods to ensure you can enjoy the odd sweet-treat, no matter your diet restrictions
  2. Ombre colour (graduating from dark to light) – this has been very popular during wedding season
  3. Salted caramel – still a firm favourite, adding a touch of sophistication to sweet goods
  4. Homemade marshmallows – a far cry from those oversweet processed confections, the trend for flavoured marshmallows has spiked thanks to exposure from the likes of The Marshmallowists
  5. Scandinavian baking – With Copenhagen’s Noma consistently topping international best restaurant lists we’re becoming more and more curious about Scandinavian cuisine. Thanks to the use of gingerbread and spices, it fits in particularly well around Christmas
  6. Bright colours – mirrored by some of the latest catwalk trends in neon and pastels
  7. Doughnuts – forget stodgy supermarket fare, the new doughnut is filled with the likes of rhubarb and custard, and salted caramel (see above!)
  8. Flowers as flavour and decoration –lavender is particularly popular, with one of the Hummingbird Bakery’s signature cupcakes flavoured with this fragrant ingredient

Source: IPC Media, 2014

By Carly Smith, Trade Marketing Manager

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