Though consumers are watching their food spending carefully, bread has maintained steady national sales.
Bread and rolls comprise the second largest super-category in the bakery department, behind only desserts. Breads accounted for 63 percent of breads and rolls' super-category sales during the 52 weeks ending Dec. 26, 2009. Nationally, breads averaged $1,794 per week per store, a 0.3 percent increase over last year. Breads contributed 18.9 percent to total bakery dollar sales, down 0.3 percent.
The bread subcategories include hot/hearth breads, artisan/specialty/crusty breads, breakfast/sandwich breads, bread trays/platters and other breads. The other breads subcategory includes corn bread, pita bread, flat bread and tortillas. The top two bread subcategories (hot/hearth bread and artisan/specialty/crusty breads) made up almost three-quarters of the breads category's dollar sales, with a 74 percent share, followed by breakfast/sandwich breads at 18.3 percent and other breads at 7.7 percent. Bread trays/platters had the smallest dollar share with a share total of 0.01 percent, and are not included on the accompanying graphic.
Across the total U.S., breakfast/sandwich breads grew the most among the bread subcategories, with average dollar sales up 1.6 percent. Hot/hearth breads and other breads also increased average dollar sales compard to last year, but artisan/specialty/crusty breads were down 1.9 percent. Overall bread sales were strongest during key holidays such as New Year's, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The East region sold the most bread on average with $2,748 per store per week; however, sales were down 1.9 percent from the previous year ending Dec. 27, 2008. Only hot/hearth breads increased average dollar sales, up 0.3 percent; all remaining bread subcategories declined in sales versus a year ago. The East region's average bread sales made up 19.7 percent of all bakery sales in the region.
Bread contribution to total bakery in the West region was 19.9 percent, the largest contribution of any region. Average dollar sales increased 1.4 percent compared to the previous period, up to $1,858 per store per week from $1,832. The other breads subcategory had the most growth in the West, with an 11.7 percent increase. Artisan/specialty/crusty breads was the only subcategory to decline in sales, down 1.6 percent.
The Central region had the most regional growth in average dollar sales, up 2.7. Average bread sales were flat in the South region, with growth in only the hot/hearth breads and other breads subcategories.
Excluding the East region, breads had stable sales growth from the previous year at both a national and regional level. Artisan/specialty/crusty breads declined in average dollar sales in all regions, which illustrates consumer avoidance of higher price points in the breads category.
This sales review, provided by the Perishables Group FreshFacts® powered by Nielsen, includes supermarket in-store bakery scanner data results from the 52 weeks ending Dec. 26, 2009, representing more than 62 percent of the national supermarket ACV share. For more information, contact the Perishables Group's Kelli Beckel by phone: 773/929-7013, or e-mail: KelliB@perishablesgroup.com.