Great British Bake Off inspires 20% surge in independent UK bakeries

Cake making businesses are on the rise in the UK, as popular shows like The Great British Bake Off inspire a new wave of entrepreneurial bakers.

Bakeries and cake makers and decorators have increased by 20 per cent in the last year alone, while between 2012 and 2016, numbers increased by a staggering 1,500 per cent.

Looking into our data from the last four years, we were also able to highlight the baking hotspots, with The South East - home to the last two winners of The Great British Bake Off - proving particularly popular with bakers.

Meanwhile, we also spotted an interesting trend in the number of male-run baking businesses, with a surprising 75 per cent increase in the last two years.

Men feeling the need to knead

With the nation hungry for the latest season of GBBO, our data has revealed that more men than ever are earning their crust with cake making and bakery startups.

The 75 per cent increase over the last two years is matched by a four per cent decrease in female-run bakeries over the same period.

With a host of celebrity chefs and TV bakers - including a number of popular male GBBO stars in recent years - it seems more and more men are keen to try their hand at going it alone in the baking industry.

Where to go for dough

There’s clearly something in the water in The South East. Home to the last two GBBO winners, the region saw the highest growth in artisan bakeries across the UK in the last five years.

However, when looking at individual cities, it seems like it’s The North who have the sweetest tooth.

Liverpool and Manchester topped the pile when looking into the UK’s 10 biggest cities, while the capital’s appetite for cake was lowest.

Growth in independent bakeries in the UK’s largest cities (2012-2016)

Ranking City
1 Liverpool
2 Manchester
3 Bradford
4 Edinburgh
5 Leeds
6 Glasgow
7 Birmingham
8 Bristol
9 Sheffield
10 London

Bigger isn’t always better

The dramatic rise of artisan bakeries points towards an overall shift in consumer behaviour, with many now favouring independent small businesses to larger chains.

From the rise in the number of indy chocolatiers to news earlier this year that independent coffee shops are gaining ground on the global brands, it’s clear that there’s serious demand for artisan produce.

Fiona McSwein, Chief Customer Officer at Simply Business, said: “The popularity of The Great British Bake Off over recent years has created a nationwide craving for croissants and cupcakes and reminded consumers that nothing beats something homemade.

“Rather than mass-production, the public may now be looking for artisan treats made with natural ingredients and personality by local entrepreneurs.

“At Simply Business, we are proud to support the nation’s small businesses and sole traders that are putting artisan bakeries back on the menu.”

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