Baking bliss

Wonderbar Cooking Chocolate, made in Ireland, comes in a variety of flavours to suit all tastes; Dark, Milk and White, and is now available in a handy microwaveable pouch format
Wonderbar Cooking Chocolate, made in Ireland, comes in a variety of flavours to suit all tastes; Dark, Milk and White, and is now available in a handy microwaveable pouch format

Home baking has experienced a revival in recent years, despite the image of twenty-first century consumers being time-pressed, convenience food devotees


Brand Central

13 October 2008

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At a glance: home baking

  • Shamrock is Ireland’s leading home-baking brand
  • The home baking market is currently worth £320 million a year in the UK
  • The home baking market is estimated to have grown by just under 20% in the 2 years to 2008 (Mintel, Home Baking, UK, August 2008)
  • A third of consumers stated that they bought a baking mix in the last six months (Mintel, Home Baking, UK, August 2008)

Home-baking is experiencing something of a ‘moment’ in the consumer zeitgeist right now, with TV celebrity chefs such as Delia Smith and Nigella Lawson leading the way in encouraging consumers to ‘cheat’ and cut corners. This cheating has made it more acceptable for ‘yummy mummies’ and daddies to use products such as cake mixes instead of cooking from scratch.
The busy lives of consumers has also led to growth in other convenience products such as flour mixes and ready made pastry, that speed up the home baking process, reports Mintel. And the home baking market looks is set to enjoy a boost as consumers feeling the pinch during recessionary times are priced out of ready made sweet treats on supermarket shelves, says The Grocer.

As consumers eat out less, conversely they are more eager to treat themselves at home. Regular baking sessions in the kitchen are also increasingly seen as important family bonding.Sectors such as dried fruits and nuts are showing particularly strong growth, essentially for their health benefits. While dried fruit has always been a store cupboard staple for the scratch baker, the introduction of snacking fruit as a sub-category in its own right means it has entered the big league. Nuts and seeds are also growing in popularity, thanks to their image as health foods, while the market has also witnessed growth in gluten free and coeliac products for those with allergies.

Importantly, while concerns over health issues are having a positive impact on home baking product sales, ultimately an indulgence theme is strongly present, with baking tending to be an occasional activity rather than being viewed as a daily chore. In general, celebrity branding and changes in family eating habits are driving the home baking category away from maturity.

A taste of home

Homecook Preserves and Fruit are perfect for all occasions and ideal for all home-baking needs. Homecook Prepared Seville Oranges make 6lbs of Homemade Marmalade in only 30 minutes. They have no artificial additives, flavours or preservatives; all that’s added are Seville Oranges and water. As all tastes differ so to does the cut of the Homecook Seville Oranges which come in Medium Cut, thick Cut and No Peel, and are packed in attractive colour coded cans.

All Homecook Fruits are carefully hand selected and processed to ensure that they are succulent in texture and full of flavour. They are convenient and simple to use and require no pre-soaking. They’re also delicious served hot or cold in a variety of both sweet and savoury dishes or even eaten straight from the pack. 

Homecook Raisins and Sultanas fit perfectly into the widely recognized movement toward healthy eating habits and an active lifestyle. Homecook raisins and sultanas are a great source of natural energy and make it easy to satisfy your daily fruit requirements. Not only are they are ready to eat, they are also perfect for all home baking needs, and are available throughout the year. Homecook Chilean Golden Sultanas, Californian Thompson Raisins and Californian Flame Raisins are seedless and are available in re-sealable 500g packs. 

Best ever recipe is icing on the cake 

Wonderbar Cooking Chocolate is a firm favourite in households throughout the country. Wonderbar has undergone a makeover this year with contemporary new packaging and a new chocolate recipe. It is so versatile it can be used in a wide variety of recipes including chocolate chews, buns, cakes, toppings, mousses and of course, coming up to Christmas it is a great decoration for all cakes, buns and treats.

Wonderbar Cooking Chocolate, made in Ireland, comes in a variety of flavours to suit all tastes; Dark, Milk and White. The bars are available in 150g, 450g and the 1kg catering size. New this year is Wonderbar Microwaveable Cooking chocolate which is available in a handy microwaveable pouch. Wonderbar is supported in 2008 by extensive press campaign.

Whipping up a festive extravaganza

The approaching Christmas season is traditionally a busy time for the home-baking sector, as keen home bakers become eager to fill their homes with the cheering and homely aroma of a whole host of freshly prepared treats. As Ireland’s leading home baking brand, Shamrock boasts an extensive range of premium quality products that is sure to meet the needs of any home baking enthusiast. The brand’s product portfolio ranges from dried fruit such as raisins, sultanas and currants to cherries and peel, tree fruit, and sugars; all of which are essential ingredients for this home baking season.

This Christmas, the shamrock home baking range will be supported by a host of in store promotional activity including recipe leaflets, extra fills and multi buys. A dedicated marketing campaign will also take place in press, radio and online mediums. The purpose is to remind consumers that Shamrock is Ireland’s leading supplier of quality baking ingredients. Shamrock has also released a number of dedicated point of sale displays for retailers to help promote what is an essential store brand for the coming Christmas season.

 CookiesRetailers capitalise on ‘The Delia effect’

Celebrity cooks such as Delia Smith and Nigella Lawson have had a strong impact on the sales of home-baking products. After publication of Smith’s book, ‘How to cheat at cooking’, the “Delia effect” was shown to be as potent as ever.

In the UK, all the major supermarkets reported brisk sales of the main ingredients recommended by Smith, with the number of tins of Marks & Spencer minced lamb, featured in her shepherd’s pie recipe, shooting up by more than 200%. A knock-on effect saw tinned minced beef sales grow by almost 60%, and Fairtrade chocolate truffle sauce and pastry tartlets were also rising quickly.

Ireland is certainly not short of its own home-grown celebrities endorsing the joys and benefits of cooking and home baking. Illustrating how on-trend baking currently is, Rachel Allen is launching a new book on 6 October entitled ‘Bake’. She illustrates the indulgence factor consumers can get from home-baking in her blurb, which reads “What could be better than the smell of freshly baked bread or the joy of eating warm cookies straight from the oven?” The profits from a growing home-baking category perhaps? 

bakingseedsNew product can extend nut and seed shelflife by 70%

Slovenian company, Vitiva has launched an oil-soluble solution which it claims offers anti-rancidity protection for nuts and seeds. New product, Inolens 4, is a natural product made from rosemary that protects seeds and nuts alone or in food products from oxidation and according to the company, extends a product’s shelf life by up to 70%.

Nuts and seeds, used in homebaking as well as snacking categories, contain oils vulnerable to oxidation, which can lead to organoleptic deterioration in taste, colour and texture. Vitiva’s sales angle is that the special storage conditions required to slow the oxidation process of nuts and seeds cannot always be met. It claims that adding Inolens 4 to nuts and seeds is ideal in these circumstances. The company claims it also has “great advantages for applications such as chocolates, cookies and cakes.”



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