The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bread hits the Poundland culture!

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ElPanadero's picture
ElPanadero

Bread hits the Poundland culture!

Walking through my local shopping centre today I noticed a new store . . . . PoundBakery. I was somewhat aghast !

At a time when we are still struggling to educate the general public about what "real bread" is and why a product made with just flour, salt, yeast and water is inherently healthier, tastier and more satisfying than the crud churned out by "chorleywood" method supermaket baking laden as it is with ingredients running into the teens inc chemicals and 'E' numbers, I can but despair at this latest discount store approach to bakeries.

The Artisan Bread movement I think has been a difficult one. Most bakers I have spoken to are making meagre profits, some only doing it for a pastime rather than a business. Now we have discount bakeries hitting the high streets and shopping centres. What does this mean for the struggling artisan baker?

Here's an idea of what's on offer at PoundBakery as taken from their website:

Sausage/Bacon barms £1
Fresh sandwiches and filled barms £1
Freshly baked scones 4 for £1
White barms 8 for £1
Freshly baked loaves 2 for £1

I also saw Madeira cakes for £1.

At face value there is a world of difference in products here between this and an Artisan Bakery, but there was already a battle on between Artisan bakeries and supermarkets. It's a somewhat niche market appealing only to those who understand what a hand made loaf is all about and who are willing to pay a lot extra for a loaf.

Will the ever increasing number of "poundland" style discount stores simply create competition for supermarkets or will this now have an impact on the campaign to educate people towards real bread?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Which sounds like I could have had an influence, but in reality, don't,

my local "Hofer" or "Aldi" store installed a "bake center" and I've yet to give in to the temptation.  However, I can see the problem... it is just too convenient with pressure to shop and not waste gas, reduce the carbon imprint while the small bakeries are declining.  The extra trip to the bakery (and only a bakery) becomes time consuming.  Location to clientele becomes key.  "Sell where the majority of consumers migrate."  First dropping prices below profits to lure consumers while slowly and steadily raising prices later or elsewhere in the store.    

Another sore spot is with the "anti-wheat movement" ALL BREAD becomes "the bad" the nutrients, ingredient list and method is too easily overlooked.       

 

 

ElPanadero's picture
ElPanadero

I agree totally. There exists this issue of travelling for good local businesses (not just bakeries but good butchers, grocers and so on) vs the convenience people see in going to a supermarket and getting everything in one trip.

For the life of me I just don't understand why local artisan businesses haven't thought to all club together and create "Artisan Supermarkets". All it takes is a small retail outlet with a roof and parking (same as all the other shopping centres). I am sure that if they existed people would happily take a trip and buy lot's of great produce on a regular basis. In one sense Farmers Markets are an example of this, but they are few and far between, only happening every now and again. If butchers, grocers, bakeries etc can afford the property rents for where they are now, surely they can afford to get together and pay the rents for units in a dedicated Artisan Outlet?? It's such a shame.

I have to say that at this point, I fear for the future of true Artisan Baking. We now have this poundland culture now hitting us, and I am convinced that very shortly the supermarkets will ramp up production of more "fancy" breads and will subsidise them with the rest of store sales. There are already sourdoughs and seeded loaves in supermarkets but for the most part people go by price and what they are used to. They aren't yet aware of the multitude of ingredients in the bread they are buying and the media world isn't yet ready and willing to put out scare stories it seems.

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11

...such as Euphorium and Paul's don't sell true sourdough. They are infinitely better than supermarket rubbish but all the same not the real deal. They all put yeast in their breads albeit non of the other crap found in the mass produced blocks of what they call "bread" in supermarkets. In fact, come to think of it, I rarely see small independent bakeries. I'd rather pay more for real bread, made with real ingredients and lots of care, and less on sweets or chocolates. And I hate this anti-bread movement too. Its so annoying and fad-ish. Diets that come out of Hollywood should be avoided like the plague. Bread is the staff of life.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

unless one pumps it full of sugar, a tendency when the demand is high and not enough to go around. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I was repotting some plants and finally noticed the newspaper I was working over.  Apparently many of our local Artisans have got together with the big supermarkets to have a "Local" section with their products.

http://www.von-dahoam-das-beste.at

Interspar supermarket chain claims to have 6,411 products form 621 locations in Austria including 1,173 local delicacies from 97 small producers in our county.    That includes small bakeries, brewers, honey farmers, herb growers, egg farmers, picklers and more.  See!