Bake Off fever takes Britain by storm

A survey by ‘Waitrose Weekend’, the weekly newspaper of supermarket chain Waitrose, has revealed that baking is more popular than ever.

In a survey of 1,000 respondents, 19% said they baked something at least once a week and nearly half said they donned their pinnies more than they did five years ago. 

This year, shoppers have been more prepared than ever before for TV series ‘The Great British Bake Off’, which kicked off on on Wednesday (August 5), with sales of baking trays up 881% at Waitrose and the whole bakeware range up 55%.

With 10 weeks of baking challenges ahead, the grocery multiple is making sure it has plenty of wooden spoons and Pyrex bowls in stock. 

Last year, after contestant Martha Collison (now a ‘Waitrose Weekend’ columnist) used an ice-cream scoop to make consistently sized cakes, sales of scoops jumped by 10%.

The poll also revealed that over 79% of people said they found baking therapeutic and that it made them feel happy. Showing the huge popularity of the BBC series, one in three people surveyed said they had tried to recreate the shows bakes, with more men than women giving them a go. 

When given a choice of winning ‘Bake Off’ or ‘The X Factor’, more said they would rather lift the glass cake stand than pick up a record deal.

Store cupboard essentials have also been restocked in anticipation of the first episode, with speciality flour up 9%, food colouring up 8% and cake mixes up 13%. Sales of traditional cooking fruits such as raisins, sultanas and cherries are also up 46%, as the popularity of traditional bakes continues to increase.

Sales of readymade cakes are also up as customers celebrate the start of the show. Popular choices include cupcakes (up by 60%), cherry bakewells (46%), Battenberg cake (43%) and lemon drizzle (34%). 

Waitrose homebaking buying manager Kate Chapman said: “Shoppers have been preparing for ‘The Great British Bake Off’ well in advance this year to ensure they have all they need to whip up a show stopping bake.

“This year’s show is expected to be more popular than ever before and we expect the demand for all things baking to rise faster than a Victoria Sponge as shoppers recreate recipes from the show at home.”


Martha Collison on the Great British Bake Off

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