The food industry’s daily bread

Bread is a staple in most Australians’ weekly grocery shopping list, and is one of the cornerstones of the food industry. However, changing consumer demands and intense competition mean that producers and retailers alike have to adapt in order to retain their market share. At the same time, as Australians are purchasing more bread they are also becoming pickier about what they buy and where they buy it from. For food industry employers, a skilled workforce will be a key factor in the battle to stay flexible and competitive.

Weekly bread spending has increased by an average of $4.6 million, driven largely by additional shoppers.

Retailers competing for consumers’ dough

According to a recent report from Roy Morgan Research, over 72 per cent of Australians purchase bread on a weekly basis, spending a total of almost $90 million. Supermarkets hold the largest part of this highly competitive business, making up 67.7 per cent of bread purchases, with the remainder coming from specialty bread shops.

“The number of Australian grocery buyers purchasing bread in an average week has grown by almost half a million, from just under 10.5 million to nearly 11 million in the last 12 months. This growth has translated to an additional $4.6 million spent on bread per week and has been driven primarily by these additional shoppers rather than rising bread prices, ” said Roy Morgan Research’s Industry Communications Director Norman Morris.

Yet with new insights about the healthiness, quality and salt content of bread, consumers are becoming more discerning about their grocery choices.

“Roy Morgan data shows that grocery buyers who purchase bread at bread shops are almost 20 per cent more likely than the average shopper to trust well-known brands better than the stores’ own, 7 per cent more likely to believe that quality is more important than price, and 13 per cent more likely to avoid both genetically modified food and food with additives in it,” explained Mr Morris.

Bread producers are facing pressure to adapt to changing consumer tastes.Bread producers are facing pressure to adapt to changing consumer tastes.

Bread producers working to satisfy consumer tastes

Consumer preferences are also having a big effect on bread production, as businesses face increased pressure to deliver products that are organic, low sugar, whole grain, low salt or minimally processed. Alternative diets such as gluten-free and paleo are also major contributors. Australians’ bread buying habits demonstrate a fine balance between value and quality, and the rising health-consciousness among a large portion of consumers is driving a shift in the way bread is produced.

To keep up with this demand, employers must have an adaptable workforce that will help them stay competitive. To learn more our science and technical recruitment services for both companies and jobseekers, check out the Techstaff website here.