The baking boom and how you can benefit from it

The baking boom and how you can benefit from it

By
Laura Robinson
April 28, 2020

Get your rolling pins ready, because baking is back.

Over the last few years, celebrity chefs, foodie influencers and a myriad of popular TV shows have been slowly breathing new life into this formerly dying art, creating the next generation of budding bakers.

But then the COVID-19 pandemic set in. Almost overnight, home baking became the pet pastime and go-to therapy alternative of the Western world’s self-isolating. Google searches and Instagram mentions exploded. Online recipe traffic for sourdough bread rose by 1258%. The phenomenon quickly gained its own hashtags -  #quarantinebaking and #coronabaking - showcasing some curious corona-inspired creations, from chaos cookies to self-isolating chocolate stout cake.

As ingredient manufacturers struggle to keep up with growing demand, many professional bakers are skilfully pivoting to benefit from this emerging opportunity. So what’s really driving this culinary craze and how are entrepreneurs responding and making some dough along the way?

Trend drivers: Relaxation and distraction in crazy times

When our daily lives have been thrown out of sync, baking offers us a sense of control. If we follow the recipe, we know we’ll get a tasty loaf or some sweet treats in return. In fact, it’s not the first time that we’ve sought solace in our kitchens: sales of baking supplies also soared after the September 11th terrorist attacks. Apparently, baking is an exercise in mindfulness – it grounds us, calms our monkey mind and brings us back to the moment.

For many bakers, it’s also about adjusting to our new reality. For some, that’s dodging an extra trip to the shops. For others, it’s saving money. Parents, in particular, are turning to baking as a fun activity to keep their cooped-up kids occupied. While many childless professionals – freed from daily commutes and deprived of bars, restaurants or gyms - have more time on their hands and are looking for new ways to feel productive and bust boredom.

Shifting demand: Flour, yeast sugar - and bread machines

When it comes to choosing your recipe, bread – sourdough in particular – has proven to be a popular choice, with cake, cookies and cupcakes coming up a close second. This has led to a sudden surge in demand for typical ingredients like flour, yeast and sugar. In fact, online searches for all-purpose flour grew by 3618% from March to April and total unit sugar sales were up 64% on last year’s figures.

Industry experts stress that there’s no shortage: manufacturers just need time to ramp up production. Many are increasing their milling output and trialling new transport solutions. Others are looking to repackage bulk products - available due to cancelled food service orders - into smaller bags for supermarket shelves.

But it hasn’t just been ingredients that have witnessed rapid growth. A recent study found that the humble bread machine was the second-fasting growing e-commerce category, showing a huge 652% increase compared to the same period in 2019.

Emerging models: Insider tips and baking kits

These shifting purchasing patterns seem to suggest two things: we want to be baking but many of us are not confident to go it alone. So we’re turning to the experts. Leading chefs and bakers were quick to recognise this opportunity. While their stores and restaurants remain closed due to lockdown, their know-how has become a valuable commodity. Many have stepped in to share their skills online through virtual cooking classes, free tutorials, FaceTime coaching and even baking therapy.

Playing into the corona-driven growth in meal kits, some bakeries and catering companies have taken this a step further by developing pre-measured packages to help hopeless bakers. Cupcake decorating and gingerbread house kits have been a hit with parents, while foodies have been flocking to buy sourdough starter kits to provide them with their culinary creative outlet.  

Baker pivots: Bread Ahead and Mr Holmes Bakehouse

Matthew Jones founded London-based Bread Ahead Bakery and School in 2013 to bring quality baking to the masses. No longer able to reach out to students in person as lockdown set in, he grabbed his smartphone and began streaming live online tutorials. 8000 viewers tuned in to his first show – and in just ten days he gained over 40,000 followers on Instagram. Building on this success, the brand has created a corona-tailored offer. Fans can access free daily online lessons, get bread delivered to their doorstep, purchase a recipe ebook or even sign up for an online doughnut workshop.

Aaron Caddell is the mastermind behind Mr. Holmes Bakehouse, a bakery famous for its cruffins - a cross between a croissant and a muffin. When COVID-19 forced him to close bakeries and lose $3 million in wholesale orders, he saw an opportunity to pivot. After testing demand for bread kits and trialling local delivery through third party partners, he launched a comprehensive kit offer, ready to be shipped across the US. In just a few days, they’d delivered to over 45 states and their kit selection continues to grow - now including recipes for cookies, pasta and focaccia.

What’s next? Home baking in a post-corona era

A recent survey showed that 20% of bakers intend to keep up their new habit when we’ve finally seen the back of COVID-19. The majority of this group is made up of millennials and Generation Z who tend to bake for relaxation and the sense of achievement.

Baking offers them a tantalising mix of online and offline experiences. The act itself is a moment of mindfulness, providing respite from the digital world. While social media then allows them to connect with others and showcase their skills by sharing shots of their final creation. At a time when other life goals – like house buying or travelling – are on hold, a perfectly-baked sourdough loaf or some gooey, chewy brownies may feel like small but significant victories.

So, entrepreneurs whose products and services play into these needs might just be well placed to grab a piece of the home baking pie.

Takeaways

  • Closed due to corona? Consider how you can share your skills virtually through online courses and tutorials to open up additional revenue streams or grow your post-corona fan base.
  • Struggling to source products to provide consumers with the baking ingredients they’re craving? Try contacting restaurants to see if they have surplus supplies they could sell on.
  • Looking for a way to boost sales? Try transforming individual ingredients into kits that give newbies the confidence to make their baking debut or help parents entertain their kids.

Written by
Laura Robinson

From policy geek to digital consultant, Laura has always enjoyed bringing people together through words or tools to drive positive change. She is most proud of finally taking the leap into entrepreneurship by founding Pink Pear Agency - a network of passionate specialists who help food businesses grow innovative projects and share their stories with the world. Laura is currently interested in project development and management, digital tools, content strategy and copywriting.

Become a FoodHack+ member to get unlimited access

  • Read Unlimited Articles
  • Access Member Directory
  • Get Event Discounts

Get your rolling pins ready, because baking is back.

Over the last few years, celebrity chefs, foodie influencers and a myriad of popular TV shows have been slowly breathing new life into this formerly dying art, creating the next generation of budding bakers.

But then the COVID-19 pandemic set in. Almost overnight, home baking became the pet pastime and go-to therapy alternative of the Western world’s self-isolating. Google searches and Instagram mentions exploded. Online recipe traffic for sourdough bread rose by 1258%. The phenomenon quickly gained its own hashtags -  #quarantinebaking and #coronabaking - showcasing some curious corona-inspired creations, from chaos cookies to self-isolating chocolate stout cake.

As ingredient manufacturers struggle to keep up with growing demand, many professional bakers are skilfully pivoting to benefit from this emerging opportunity. So what’s really driving this culinary craze and how are entrepreneurs responding and making some dough along the way?

Trend drivers: Relaxation and distraction in crazy times

When our daily lives have been thrown out of sync, baking offers us a sense of control. If we follow the recipe, we know we’ll get a tasty loaf or some sweet treats in return. In fact, it’s not the first time that we’ve sought solace in our kitchens: sales of baking supplies also soared after the September 11th terrorist attacks. Apparently, baking is an exercise in mindfulness – it grounds us, calms our monkey mind and brings us back to the moment.

For many bakers, it’s also about adjusting to our new reality. For some, that’s dodging an extra trip to the shops. For others, it’s saving money. Parents, in particular, are turning to baking as a fun activity to keep their cooped-up kids occupied. While many childless professionals – freed from daily commutes and deprived of bars, restaurants or gyms - have more time on their hands and are looking for new ways to feel productive and bust boredom.

Shifting demand: Flour, yeast sugar - and bread machines

When it comes to choosing your recipe, bread – sourdough in particular – has proven to be a popular choice, with cake, cookies and cupcakes coming up a close second. This has led to a sudden surge in demand for typical ingredients like flour, yeast and sugar. In fact, online searches for all-purpose flour grew by 3618% from March to April and total unit sugar sales were up 64% on last year’s figures.

Industry experts stress that there’s no shortage: manufacturers just need time to ramp up production. Many are increasing their milling output and trialling new transport solutions. Others are looking to repackage bulk products - available due to cancelled food service orders - into smaller bags for supermarket shelves.

But it hasn’t just been ingredients that have witnessed rapid growth. A recent study found that the humble bread machine was the second-fasting growing e-commerce category, showing a huge 652% increase compared to the same period in 2019.

Emerging models: Insider tips and baking kits

These shifting purchasing patterns seem to suggest two things: we want to be baking but many of us are not confident to go it alone. So we’re turning to the experts. Leading chefs and bakers were quick to recognise this opportunity. While their stores and restaurants remain closed due to lockdown, their know-how has become a valuable commodity. Many have stepped in to share their skills online through virtual cooking classes, free tutorials, FaceTime coaching and even baking therapy.

Playing into the corona-driven growth in meal kits, some bakeries and catering companies have taken this a step further by developing pre-measured packages to help hopeless bakers. Cupcake decorating and gingerbread house kits have been a hit with parents, while foodies have been flocking to buy sourdough starter kits to provide them with their culinary creative outlet.  

Baker pivots: Bread Ahead and Mr Holmes Bakehouse

Matthew Jones founded London-based Bread Ahead Bakery and School in 2013 to bring quality baking to the masses. No longer able to reach out to students in person as lockdown set in, he grabbed his smartphone and began streaming live online tutorials. 8000 viewers tuned in to his first show – and in just ten days he gained over 40,000 followers on Instagram. Building on this success, the brand has created a corona-tailored offer. Fans can access free daily online lessons, get bread delivered to their doorstep, purchase a recipe ebook or even sign up for an online doughnut workshop.

Aaron Caddell is the mastermind behind Mr. Holmes Bakehouse, a bakery famous for its cruffins - a cross between a croissant and a muffin. When COVID-19 forced him to close bakeries and lose $3 million in wholesale orders, he saw an opportunity to pivot. After testing demand for bread kits and trialling local delivery through third party partners, he launched a comprehensive kit offer, ready to be shipped across the US. In just a few days, they’d delivered to over 45 states and their kit selection continues to grow - now including recipes for cookies, pasta and focaccia.

What’s next? Home baking in a post-corona era

A recent survey showed that 20% of bakers intend to keep up their new habit when we’ve finally seen the back of COVID-19. The majority of this group is made up of millennials and Generation Z who tend to bake for relaxation and the sense of achievement.

Baking offers them a tantalising mix of online and offline experiences. The act itself is a moment of mindfulness, providing respite from the digital world. While social media then allows them to connect with others and showcase their skills by sharing shots of their final creation. At a time when other life goals – like house buying or travelling – are on hold, a perfectly-baked sourdough loaf or some gooey, chewy brownies may feel like small but significant victories.

So, entrepreneurs whose products and services play into these needs might just be well placed to grab a piece of the home baking pie.

Takeaways

  • Closed due to corona? Consider how you can share your skills virtually through online courses and tutorials to open up additional revenue streams or grow your post-corona fan base.
  • Struggling to source products to provide consumers with the baking ingredients they’re craving? Try contacting restaurants to see if they have surplus supplies they could sell on.
  • Looking for a way to boost sales? Try transforming individual ingredients into kits that give newbies the confidence to make their baking debut or help parents entertain their kids.

Become a FoodHack+ member to get unlimited access

  • Read Unlimited Articles
  • Access Member Directory
  • Join a Global Community
UPGRADE NOW
Cancel anytime

Get your rolling pins ready, because baking is back.

Over the last few years, celebrity chefs, foodie influencers and a myriad of popular TV shows have been slowly breathing new life into this formerly dying art, creating the next generation of budding bakers.

But then the COVID-19 pandemic set in. Almost overnight, home baking became the pet pastime and go-to therapy alternative of the Western world’s self-isolating. Google searches and Instagram mentions exploded. Online recipe traffic for sourdough bread rose by 1258%. The phenomenon quickly gained its own hashtags -  #quarantinebaking and #coronabaking - showcasing some curious corona-inspired creations, from chaos cookies to self-isolating chocolate stout cake.

As ingredient manufacturers struggle to keep up with growing demand, many professional bakers are skilfully pivoting to benefit from this emerging opportunity. So what’s really driving this culinary craze and how are entrepreneurs responding and making some dough along the way?

Trend drivers: Relaxation and distraction in crazy times

When our daily lives have been thrown out of sync, baking offers us a sense of control. If we follow the recipe, we know we’ll get a tasty loaf or some sweet treats in return. In fact, it’s not the first time that we’ve sought solace in our kitchens: sales of baking supplies also soared after the September 11th terrorist attacks. Apparently, baking is an exercise in mindfulness – it grounds us, calms our monkey mind and brings us back to the moment.

For many bakers, it’s also about adjusting to our new reality. For some, that’s dodging an extra trip to the shops. For others, it’s saving money. Parents, in particular, are turning to baking as a fun activity to keep their cooped-up kids occupied. While many childless professionals – freed from daily commutes and deprived of bars, restaurants or gyms - have more time on their hands and are looking for new ways to feel productive and bust boredom.

Shifting demand: Flour, yeast sugar - and bread machines

When it comes to choosing your recipe, bread – sourdough in particular – has proven to be a popular choice, with cake, cookies and cupcakes coming up a close second. This has led to a sudden surge in demand for typical ingredients like flour, yeast and sugar. In fact, online searches for all-purpose flour grew by 3618% from March to April and total unit sugar sales were up 64% on last year’s figures.

Industry experts stress that there’s no shortage: manufacturers just need time to ramp up production. Many are increasing their milling output and trialling new transport solutions. Others are looking to repackage bulk products - available due to cancelled food service orders - into smaller bags for supermarket shelves.

But it hasn’t just been ingredients that have witnessed rapid growth. A recent study found that the humble bread machine was the second-fasting growing e-commerce category, showing a huge 652% increase compared to the same period in 2019.

Emerging models: Insider tips and baking kits

These shifting purchasing patterns seem to suggest two things: we want to be baking but many of us are not confident to go it alone. So we’re turning to the experts. Leading chefs and bakers were quick to recognise this opportunity. While their stores and restaurants remain closed due to lockdown, their know-how has become a valuable commodity. Many have stepped in to share their skills online through virtual cooking classes, free tutorials, FaceTime coaching and even baking therapy.

Playing into the corona-driven growth in meal kits, some bakeries and catering companies have taken this a step further by developing pre-measured packages to help hopeless bakers. Cupcake decorating and gingerbread house kits have been a hit with parents, while foodies have been flocking to buy sourdough starter kits to provide them with their culinary creative outlet.  

Baker pivots: Bread Ahead and Mr Holmes Bakehouse

Matthew Jones founded London-based Bread Ahead Bakery and School in 2013 to bring quality baking to the masses. No longer able to reach out to students in person as lockdown set in, he grabbed his smartphone and began streaming live online tutorials. 8000 viewers tuned in to his first show – and in just ten days he gained over 40,000 followers on Instagram. Building on this success, the brand has created a corona-tailored offer. Fans can access free daily online lessons, get bread delivered to their doorstep, purchase a recipe ebook or even sign up for an online doughnut workshop.

Aaron Caddell is the mastermind behind Mr. Holmes Bakehouse, a bakery famous for its cruffins - a cross between a croissant and a muffin. When COVID-19 forced him to close bakeries and lose $3 million in wholesale orders, he saw an opportunity to pivot. After testing demand for bread kits and trialling local delivery through third party partners, he launched a comprehensive kit offer, ready to be shipped across the US. In just a few days, they’d delivered to over 45 states and their kit selection continues to grow - now including recipes for cookies, pasta and focaccia.

What’s next? Home baking in a post-corona era

A recent survey showed that 20% of bakers intend to keep up their new habit when we’ve finally seen the back of COVID-19. The majority of this group is made up of millennials and Generation Z who tend to bake for relaxation and the sense of achievement.

Baking offers them a tantalising mix of online and offline experiences. The act itself is a moment of mindfulness, providing respite from the digital world. While social media then allows them to connect with others and showcase their skills by sharing shots of their final creation. At a time when other life goals – like house buying or travelling – are on hold, a perfectly-baked sourdough loaf or some gooey, chewy brownies may feel like small but significant victories.

So, entrepreneurs whose products and services play into these needs might just be well placed to grab a piece of the home baking pie.

Takeaways

  • Closed due to corona? Consider how you can share your skills virtually through online courses and tutorials to open up additional revenue streams or grow your post-corona fan base.
  • Struggling to source products to provide consumers with the baking ingredients they’re craving? Try contacting restaurants to see if they have surplus supplies they could sell on.
  • Looking for a way to boost sales? Try transforming individual ingredients into kits that give newbies the confidence to make their baking debut or help parents entertain their kids.

Get your rolling pins ready, because baking is back.

Over the last few years, celebrity chefs, foodie influencers and a myriad of popular TV shows have been slowly breathing new life into this formerly dying art, creating the next generation of budding bakers.

But then the COVID-19 pandemic set in. Almost overnight, home baking became the pet pastime and go-to therapy alternative of the Western world’s self-isolating. Google searches and Instagram mentions exploded. Online recipe traffic for sourdough bread rose by 1258%. The phenomenon quickly gained its own hashtags -  #quarantinebaking and #coronabaking - showcasing some curious corona-inspired creations, from chaos cookies to self-isolating chocolate stout cake.

As ingredient manufacturers struggle to keep up with growing demand, many professional bakers are skilfully pivoting to benefit from this emerging opportunity. So what’s really driving this culinary craze and how are entrepreneurs responding and making some dough along the way?

Trend drivers: Relaxation and distraction in crazy times

When our daily lives have been thrown out of sync, baking offers us a sense of control. If we follow the recipe, we know we’ll get a tasty loaf or some sweet treats in return. In fact, it’s not the first time that we’ve sought solace in our kitchens: sales of baking supplies also soared after the September 11th terrorist attacks. Apparently, baking is an exercise in mindfulness – it grounds us, calms our monkey mind and brings us back to the moment.

For many bakers, it’s also about adjusting to our new reality. For some, that’s dodging an extra trip to the shops. For others, it’s saving money. Parents, in particular, are turning to baking as a fun activity to keep their cooped-up kids occupied. While many childless professionals – freed from daily commutes and deprived of bars, restaurants or gyms - have more time on their hands and are looking for new ways to feel productive and bust boredom.

Shifting demand: Flour, yeast sugar - and bread machines

When it comes to choosing your recipe, bread – sourdough in particular – has proven to be a popular choice, with cake, cookies and cupcakes coming up a close second. This has led to a sudden surge in demand for typical ingredients like flour, yeast and sugar. In fact, online searches for all-purpose flour grew by 3618% from March to April and total unit sugar sales were up 64% on last year’s figures.

Industry experts stress that there’s no shortage: manufacturers just need time to ramp up production. Many are increasing their milling output and trialling new transport solutions. Others are looking to repackage bulk products - available due to cancelled food service orders - into smaller bags for supermarket shelves.

But it hasn’t just been ingredients that have witnessed rapid growth. A recent study found that the humble bread machine was the second-fasting growing e-commerce category, showing a huge 652% increase compared to the same period in 2019.

Emerging models: Insider tips and baking kits

These shifting purchasing patterns seem to suggest two things: we want to be baking but many of us are not confident to go it alone. So we’re turning to the experts. Leading chefs and bakers were quick to recognise this opportunity. While their stores and restaurants remain closed due to lockdown, their know-how has become a valuable commodity. Many have stepped in to share their skills online through virtual cooking classes, free tutorials, FaceTime coaching and even baking therapy.

Playing into the corona-driven growth in meal kits, some bakeries and catering companies have taken this a step further by developing pre-measured packages to help hopeless bakers. Cupcake decorating and gingerbread house kits have been a hit with parents, while foodies have been flocking to buy sourdough starter kits to provide them with their culinary creative outlet.  

Baker pivots: Bread Ahead and Mr Holmes Bakehouse

Matthew Jones founded London-based Bread Ahead Bakery and School in 2013 to bring quality baking to the masses. No longer able to reach out to students in person as lockdown set in, he grabbed his smartphone and began streaming live online tutorials. 8000 viewers tuned in to his first show – and in just ten days he gained over 40,000 followers on Instagram. Building on this success, the brand has created a corona-tailored offer. Fans can access free daily online lessons, get bread delivered to their doorstep, purchase a recipe ebook or even sign up for an online doughnut workshop.

Aaron Caddell is the mastermind behind Mr. Holmes Bakehouse, a bakery famous for its cruffins - a cross between a croissant and a muffin. When COVID-19 forced him to close bakeries and lose $3 million in wholesale orders, he saw an opportunity to pivot. After testing demand for bread kits and trialling local delivery through third party partners, he launched a comprehensive kit offer, ready to be shipped across the US. In just a few days, they’d delivered to over 45 states and their kit selection continues to grow - now including recipes for cookies, pasta and focaccia.

What’s next? Home baking in a post-corona era

A recent survey showed that 20% of bakers intend to keep up their new habit when we’ve finally seen the back of COVID-19. The majority of this group is made up of millennials and Generation Z who tend to bake for relaxation and the sense of achievement.

Baking offers them a tantalising mix of online and offline experiences. The act itself is a moment of mindfulness, providing respite from the digital world. While social media then allows them to connect with others and showcase their skills by sharing shots of their final creation. At a time when other life goals – like house buying or travelling – are on hold, a perfectly-baked sourdough loaf or some gooey, chewy brownies may feel like small but significant victories.

So, entrepreneurs whose products and services play into these needs might just be well placed to grab a piece of the home baking pie.

Takeaways

  • Closed due to corona? Consider how you can share your skills virtually through online courses and tutorials to open up additional revenue streams or grow your post-corona fan base.
  • Struggling to source products to provide consumers with the baking ingredients they’re craving? Try contacting restaurants to see if they have surplus supplies they could sell on.
  • Looking for a way to boost sales? Try transforming individual ingredients into kits that give newbies the confidence to make their baking debut or help parents entertain their kids.