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Figures and trends 2014

According to the figures from GFK Panel Services Benelux1, the market research agency, in 2014, the average Belgian consumed 36 loaves of bread, 5 baguettes, 83 bread rolls, 24 mini-cakes, 8 pas-tries and 3 pies. There was a 8% decrease in the sales of bread compared to 2013. The other bakery products also experienced a fall; sales of baguettes decreased by 5%, sales of bread rolls by 9%, sales of mini-cakes by 6%, sales of pastries by 3%, and sales of pies by 11%. We have noticed the same progression in Flanders. As a matter of fact, compared to the average Walloon and to the av-erage Brussels inhabitant, the average Flemish buys more bread, bread rolls and pies, but less ba-guettes, mini-cakes and cakes.

Within the bread and the pastry sector, the baker remains the market leader in Belgium with a 42% market share, which represents a slight decrease by 1% compared to 2013. In Flanders, the bakery sector represents a 48 % market share, more than in Brussels (26%) and than in Wallonia (33%).

Domestic consumption of bakery products

Since the second half of 2007, we have been facing a time of economic crisis. The consumer’s first reaction has been to eat out less, resulting in a higher domestic consumption of food products. As the consumer uses more basic food products at home, we have noticed a shift in consumption.
The decrease in the domestic consumption of bread, which has lasted for several years, reached an end in 2007 and 2008. In 2008, the domestic consumption of bread was indeed higher than in 5% compared to 2006. However, since 2009, there has been a constant downward trend.

Moreover, in this time of economic crisis, we have noticed a general decrease in the consumption of food products. More and more Belgians have adapted their dietary habits; they pay more atten-tion to their purchases, they spend less money and buy less. As result, the downward trend in the domestic consumption has even been more significant. Since 2008, the consumption of bread has decreased by 20%; and last year, it reached a 8 % decrease.

For a few years, the consumption of baguettes has been fluctuating between 5 and 6 per Belgian per year, with 5.4 baguettes in 2014. For a long period of time, the domestic consumption of bread rolls experienced an upward trend; however, between 2011 and 2014, the domestic consumption decreased from 101 to 91 bread rolls per person. Over the past years, the domestic consumption of viennoiseries has experienced a similar progression as bread; which is to say an increase in 2008, but a steady decrease since then.

In 2008, the average Belgian bought 27.3 viennoiseries, whereas in 2014, he only bought 24.3. The domestic consumption of pastries and pies rose until 2010, but since then it has decreased to re-spectively 7.8 pastries and 3.2 pies by Belgian.
We can observe the same progressions in Flanders as well as in the whole country. The average Flemish buys a lot more bread, bread rolls and pies than the average Walloon and inhabitant of Brussels; but less baguettes, viennoiseries and cakes. In Flanders, in 2014, the domestic consump-tion amounted to 41 loaves of bread, 4 baguettes, 95 bread rolls, 23 viennoiseries, 7 cakes and 4 pies per person.

Domestic consumption of several alternatives

At the beginning of the 21st century, pre-cooked bread rolls were very popular; in 2008, the aver-age consumption came to 18.4 per person. In 2009 and 2010, the domestic consumption of bread rolls slightly decreased to 16.3 per person. Since 2011, we have noticed a new increase. Then, the domestic consumption of pre-cooked bread started fluctuating. Finally, in 2014, it reached 18.3 bread rolls per person.

On the whole, with the exception of 2012, the domestic use of bread flour has declined gradually.
In 2008, the average Belgian bought 3.8 kg of bread flour, compared to 2.6kg in 2014. There was an upward trend in the use of mixes for pastry until 2012, with 1.7 kg per person. However, in 2013 and 2014, the amount decreased to 1.5 kg. Over the past years, the domestic consumption of breakfast cereals has fluctuated between 2.6 and 2.7 kg per Belgian.

The bakers remain the market leaders for bread and pastries with a 42% market share in Belgium and 48 % in Flanders.
The baker stays in Belgium the preferred supplier for the bread and the pastries. After a rise in the market share in 2008 and 2009, the use of domestic consumption of bread and pastries in Belgium fell from 52.4 % in 2009 to 42 % in 2014.
In Flanders, the same evolution prevail, but the baker has got a market share even big-ger (48%). Its decline in that sector is due to 2 factors. First, the number of families who buy to the baker plunge. Second, the frequency of buying of these families. In 2014, 38% of Flemish families have never gone to the baker. While a family goes to him in average 44 times by year.
There are here of course strong gradation variations. 31% of Flemish families are rela-tively loyal to their baker. The buyers’ group is very important for the bakers.

They provide among others 87 % of their turnover. In that group of loyal customers, there are more families with children and elder-ly people.
The part of the market share has risen again in 2014 for special breads (from 38 % in 2013 to 41 % in 2014) and for pastries and pies (from 25% in 2013 to 26 % in 2014), which announce a promising future.

Source/Reference: VLAM, May 2015

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