Despite the challenges retailers face with increasing commodity prices and attracting customers to the bakery, sales in the bread category rebounded in 2010, posting the highest dollars per store per week of any of the last five years.
In the 52 weeks ending Dec. 25, 2010, breads made up 19.5 percent of the in-store bakery department, a 0.1 percent increase from the previous year. Included in the bread category is hot/hearth breads, breakfast/sandwich breads, artisan/specialty/crusty breads, other breads and bread trays/platters. Nationally, breads averaged sales of $1,942 per store per week, an increase of 2.9 percent from the previous year. This growth was driven by average weekly sales increases in the two largest categories within bread, hot/ hearth (up 5.1 percent) and artisan/specialty/crusty breads (up 1.3 percent). But even with an increase in total sales, artisan/crusty bread lost market share to the other bread subcategories, all of which grew at a faster clip.
The highest sales for the bread category occurred the week of Dec. 25, 2010, with $2,492 per store per week, an increase of 0.6 percent from the previous year. This week is typically the highest sales week as it captures sales for the Christmas holiday. Bread had other strong sales weeks coinciding with holidays: $2,335 per store per week for Thanksgiving, an increase of 6.2 percent from the previous year, and $2,315 per store per week for New Year’s, an increase of 2.6 percent. The lowest sales for the bread category came the week of June 26, 2010, with average dollar sales of $1,778 per store per week.
Every U.S. region grew their average weekly sales in the bread category compared to the previous year. The East region captured the highest average sales in the category with $2,759 per store per week, significantly outperforming the national average of $1,942 per store per week. The bread category in the West region had the highest contribution to bakery department sales with 21.1 percent, and average sales of $2,109 per store per week, also above the national average. The East region had the second highest contribution with 20.8 percent of bakery dollar sales.
Within the breads category, hot/hearth breads accounted for the largest portion of sales with 40.1 percent of the category share nationally, followed by artisan/specialty/crusty breads with 30 percent share. The categories with smaller contributions include breakfast/sandwich breads (19 percent) and other breads (7.9 percent).
Hot/hearth breads gained steam in 2010 as they increased average weekly per-store sales as well as category share. This category includes garlic bread, French 10 • Modern Baking • March, 2011 bread, Italian bread, Vienna bread and sourdough. In all U.S regions, hot/hearth breads increased average weekly dollars from the previous year. The South region had the largest growth; average weekly sales were up 6 percent from the previous year.
This sales review, provided by the Perishables Group FreshFacts® powered by Nielsen, includes supermarket in-store bakery scanner data results from Dec. 26, 2009, through Dec. 25, 2010, representing more than 63 percent of 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.