Bread Market - The EU Remains Unsurpassed Global Bread Producer

Bakery December 16, 2015
Author: Alla Yakimova
Market Analyst

bread market

Bread and bakery goods have been and continue to be staple dietary products worldwide. Accessible and nutritious, bread goes all the way back to ancient civilizations. More recently, the low cost and nutritional value of bread and baked goods have allowed it to maintain stable growth.

Although many people continue to buy baked goods from independent stores, this trend is ebbing away, mainly owing to the rise of in-store bakeries in supermarkets and hypermarkets. Affordability and the convenience of one-stop shopping provide in-store bakeries with growing customer attention.

When it comes to consumer preferences, notable changes are being observed in some parts of the world. In the EU and Russia, for example, consumers have become much more health conscious, gradually eliminating processed food from their diet, and preferring baked goods with natural ingredients and better nutrition. They, therefore, tend to opt for products with health benefits and convenience.

In Russia, bread sales can be defined as seasonal, in that bread is often consumed in colder months, compared to the warmer seasons when the heaviness of bread tends to be swapped out for lighter seasonal fruits and vegetables.

To boost sales, bakers attempt to strike a balance between taste and proper nutrition by adding fibre or a mix of protein and fibre. In general, the evolving nature of consumer preferences has always pushed leading vendors to invest substantially in product innovation.

In the U.S., consumers gravitated towards both indulgent and health-oriented baked products in 2014. While pastry producers introduced more cake varieties to appeal to a younger demographic, bread containing wholegrain, high fibre or other health-minded qualities remained popular with health-conscious consumers.

The competition in Arabic bakeries, due to its diversity of products and the large number of informal channels producing bread, is quite fragmented. In Egypt, bread is mainly unpackaged and artisanal. The government currently supports local bakers, though some of them are claimed to be abusing the usage of subsidized flour. To curb this, the Egyptian authorities are considering launching smart cards that will limit the subsidy on artisanal bread in the future.

All in all, the increasing health consciousness among the present generation has increased the demand for healthier and more nutritional bread, boosting the global bread and bakery market.

In 2014, the U.S. (11%), the UK (8%), France (7%) and Germany (7%) were the leading destinations of imports on the bread market, together making up 33% of global imports in physical terms. While the share of the U.S. decreased, the share of the balance of the countries was relatively stable.

Germany, the U.S. and France were the main global suppliers of bread and bakery products in 2014 with a combined share of 25% of global exports. However, the fastest growing suppliers from 2007 to 2014 were the Netherlands (+8.5% per year) and the U.S. (+8.2% per year). Despite being the largest global producers of bread and bakery goods, Russia and Egypt did not export much of their production, meaning that it was domestically consumed.

Canada is one of the most import dependent countries among global bread consumers. The U.S. is the major supplier of bread into Canada. In 2014, the U.S. exported 4.2% of its total bread and bakery output. Of this amount, 59.5% was supplied to Canada, where the U.S. bread and bakery products held a 21.3% share of total Canada's consumption.

Do you want to know more about the global bread market? Get the latest trends and insight from our report. It includes a wide range of statistics on

  • bread market share
  • bread prices
  • bread industry
  • bread sales
  • bread market forecast
  • bread price forecast
  • key bread producers

Source: World: Bread And Bakery Product - Market Report. Analysis and Forecast to 2020