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Frozen Baked Goods Market Driven by New Product Development in UK

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The baked goods sector is not only rising, but booming in the United Kingdom. Indeed, the market value is currently over £3.9 billion, according to the Federation of Bakers, and it is predicted that the segment will soon become one of the largest in the food industry. 

Affordable and filling, baked goods have long been viewed as comfort food and this trend has continued to expand throughout the lockdown triggered by the ongoing coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) health crisis.

Mintel’s UK Consumer Snacking Market Report 2021, written by Richard Caines, states that “the Covid-19 pandemic has seen increases in snacking at home, both in the day and in the evening, including more comfort eating. The widely held view that less healthy snacks have a place as part of a balanced diet ensures continued opportunities for indulgent snacks.”

According to Global Market Insights, the international frozen bakery market size was valued at around US $41 billion in 2020, and is estimated to post a compound average growth rate of over 5% from 2021 to 2027.

The European market for frozen baked goods is said to claim over 35% of the revenue share, owing to changing dietary habits and easy availability of ready-to-eat food products in the region.

Savoury Bakes

Pies are a staple items in the diets of most Brits. This is evident in the hot pie market’s current worth of £258 million across total retail outlets, which expanded by +3.7% year-on-year, according to IRI statistics for the 52-week period ending on August 8, 2021. 

The well-known Pukka brand has grown three times faster than the category as a whole, with sales worth £47.4 million (+13.2%) driving pie purchases in the retail and foodservice sectors. This success can be attributed to the new product development and the award-winning People’s Pie TV advert.

According to the brand’s People’s Poll research, almost half (47%) of British consumers find pie-based meals the most comforting of all, and over half of households (53%) regularly buy into this mealtime favorite. 

“This demonstrates just how important these products are in terms of driving sales in out-of-home outlets,” said Isaac Fisher, general manager at Pukka. “We’re number one brand when it comes to customer awareness, with a staggering 49% of people naming the brand in the same independent research.”

Sweet Sector

Whether it’s patisserie, donuts or pies, sweet bakes remain in high demand in spite of consumers’ increased interest in their health and wellness. Sweet bakery items have been deemed and enjoyed as an affordable and welcome luxury during the pandemic. 

Among one of frozen food distributor Central Foods’ currently popular sweet frozen baked goods distributed to the foodservice sector is KaterBake brand Yum Yums, which are hand-twisted finger doughnuts with a light sugar glaze. 

“Doughnuts are always popular, but KaterBake iced twisted Yum Yums are a different take on the traditional doughnut,” said Gordon Lauder, the company’s managing director. “Ideal treats at any time of the day, they can be served in a sit-down venue or popped into a bag for takeaway, making them really versatile. Suitable for vegetarians, and at 75 grams each, they team perfectly with tea or coffee. Doughnuts have been super popular for some time now, whether that’s for food-to-go or eat-in, and Yums Yums are a deliciously different way to offer this foodie favorite.”  

Frozen formats of these products are ideal for foodservice outlets as they can keep up with current consumer trends, while minimizing waste.  

Speciality Bread

The humble loaf has been in steady demand among consumers in Britain for centuries, but speciality breads are now as popular as ever and can provide foodservice outlets with a good opportunity to drive sales and increase margins.

The shift toward more natural and clean label products that offer transparency and traceability has resulted in products containing healthier ingredients such as added fiber, plant-based proteins and probiotics becoming top choices. 

“Consumers demanding more premium options, including sourdough and rye breads, offer a whole new opportunity for bakers to explore,” said Rebecca Dunning, trade marketing manager for the La Lorraine Bakery Group. “Whether it’s a rustic demi baguette option, an authentic flatbread or one of its finest loaves, Panesco offers it all across its speciality range.”

Free From

According to Coeliac UK, 10% of British consumers now follow a gluten-free diet for both health and lifestyle reasons. It’s become a very lucrative market worth £416 million, and is estimated to expand by 6.2% over the next four years.

“The growth in consumer demand for gluten-free sweet bakery options is increasing and buying in sweet bakery products in a ready-to-serve format means that retail bakers and caterers can also tap in this expanding market,” said Jacqui Passmore, UK and Ireland marketing manager at Dawn Foods. “Supplied frozen, our injected muffins and chocolate brownies in this category are produced in a dedicated gluten-free environment using quality ingredients. Each product is also single wrapped in printed film with full nutritional information to help bakers comply with Natasha’s Law.”

The gluten-free range includes a Double Chocolate Filled Muffin made with Belgian white and dark chocolate chunks, and filled with chocolate sauce. The Lemon Filled Muffin makes for a moist eat too, thanks to the creamy and zesty lemon filling and added crunch from the sugar nibs on top. 

Targeting the trend for salted caramel, the Filled Caramel Muffin has salted caramel fudge pieces and a sweet caramel filling. For consumers who prefer a fruity muffin, the new Mixed Berry Muffin in the range is full of diced cranberries and blueberries in a vanilla flavored muffin, finished with a raspberry injection and sugar nibs for added texture.

Another trend that is still on the rise is veganism, and Dawn has launched a ready-to-serve range of indulgent berry and chocolate filled muffins, two cookies and a brownie that are also individually wrapped with full ingredients declarations.

Quick Serve Solution

According to Mintel’s UK Consumer Snacking Report 2020:  “Snacking is ingrained and almost ubiquitous in the United Kingdom, with 94% of consumers eating snacks and 36% snacking at least twice a day.”

Quality is key for today’s discerning consumers, and Pan’Artisan provides an extensive variety of frozen, premium dough-based products that ensure repeat purchases across a range of foodservice sectors. 


“Our innovative Mini Dough Bites offer operators a perfect menu solution for small dishes, sharing options and snack size portions,” said Charlotte Kilduff, trade marketing manager at Pan’Artisan. “The true Italian product is created using premium ingredients and authentic production processes, resulting in small pillows of part-baked dough which have a fine, even texture and soft eating quality. The process creates a slight variation in the individual dough bites, giving a pleasing, hand-made, rustic appearance.”

Mini Dough Bites meet the need for quick-serve scenarios too, as they can be ready to plate from frozen in under four minutes or, if prepared after defrosting, in two and a half minutes. And once the garlic butter is added, the Mini Dough Bites take just five to six minutes to cook.  

New product development has enabled the frozen bakery product sector in Britain to continue to grow in spite of consumers’ avowed increased focus on healthy eating. These products should continue to sell well as shoppers and diners look for affordable ways to treat themselves.

– Reported by Sarah Welsh