The latest MCA data has shown strong increase in bakery visits, fuelled by savoury treats.

The Bakery and Sandwich Tracker Q1 2018 report shows the number of bakery occasions rose from 1.1 billion to 1.5 billion compared to the same period last year, albeit on relatively weak comparisons. The majority of these increases were seen for snacking, which accounts for over 40% of the total bakery market and saw the strongest growth of any day-part. Savoury bakery showed increases across all day parts with dinner and snack occasions showing the strongest growth, up by 13% and 14% respectively.

The share of total occasions involving bakery rose from 59.5% and 61.3%, driven chiefly by a 2 percentage point growth in savoury bakery consumption. Increases in sweet bakery levels at lunch and snack were countermanded by declines in visits at breakfast and dinner thus sweet bakery occasions as a share of the total market was stagnant at 22.2% despite a 6% growth in total occasions.

The number of burger occasions increased from 214.7 million to 230.6 million over the year, with the share of visits involving burgers increasing from 9.2% to 9.4%, and from 15.6% to 16.7% at dinner - extending an already significant lead in market share. However, despite overall growth, burgers narrowly lost top position for lunch savoury bakery occasions to traditional sandwiches, which claimed 11.8% of visits compared to burgers’ 11.7%.

Total sandwich carriers increased their share of total savoury bakery occasions, rising from 26.3% to 27%, with growth seen for breakfast, lunch and snacking. Subs, croissants, toasted muffins and brioche increased their share of occasions while bagels showed the largest decrease.

Pizza showed the largest increase of any individual savoury bakery item, growing from 2.3% to 2.8% of total occasions and boasting over 22.1 million occasions in Q1 2018. Pizza grew most at dinner, increasing from 6.9% to 8.2%, and is the fourth most popular savoury bakery item across all day parts despite not featuring for breakfast. Over a third of pizzas are purchased in chain restaurants and are particularly popular with consumers getting together with friends or family.