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Good news for the bread industry

Wiki Spanish Food editorial team

The production of breads, pastries and cakes made with partly-processed products by Asemac associates amounted to 852,000 tons in 2014, reflecting growth of 6.3% year-on-year, according to Felipe Ruano, President of the Spanish Association of Baking, Pastry and Cake Manufacturers (Asemac), who participated in a press conference along with Fernando Burgaz, Director General of Food Industries at the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and the Environment (MAGRAMA).

Revenues amounted to 1.123 billion euros, up 5% with respect to the previous year. In terms of categories, bread accounted for 84% of the volume and almost 68% of the value.

Says Ruano: "In 2014, the companies in our association continued to grow, even though it was an unfavorable year in terms of bread consumption, while the pastry/cake mix remained stable. As a result, performance has been very positive, especially considering the current economic climate in Spain".

Sector companies

Asemac currently comprises more than 30 associate companies, which account for 80% of companies and close to 90% of sales by Spain's segment of frozen doughs for breads, pastries and cakes.

According to recent data from Spain's National Statistics Institute (INE), there were 10,558 companies in the baked goods sector in 2013.

The sector, in numbers

According to the latest data from MAGRAMA, bread consumption in the home totaled 1.609 billion kilograms in 2014, down 4.8% with respect to the previous year. According to the 2014 Report on Food Consumption in Spain, one issue that is directly associated with this performance is "the decline in purchases of this product by households with children, regardless of age".

The types of consumers who purchase the most bread are generally couples with middle and older children and adult couples with no kids. It is normally purchased by larger families (more than 3-4 people). The person responsible for shopping is generally 50-64 yeas old and they live in towns of up to 10,000 people. In terms of value, bread consumption by families in 2014 amounted to 3.812 billion euros, down 3.2%, i.e. a smaller decline compared with the slide volume, given the positive performance of bread prices.

Fresh bread continues to be the main type of bread consumed by households (1.291 million kilograms), which accounts for 96% of the fresh/frozen bread category, according to data from the ministry. Industrial breads (268 million kilograms) account for 17% of total bread consumption by households. In this segment, demand is on the rise for fresh wheat, crustless and enriched bread.

Andalusia is the region which consumes the greatest about of bread, with close to 301 million kilograms, followed by Catalonia, Madrid, Valencia and Galicia.

Navarre, where each person consumes almost 47 kilograms per year, takes first place in terms of per capita consumption, followed by La Rioja, Castile-León, the Basque Country and Asturias. Per capita consumption in the Canary Islands and Madrid is lowest, less than 30 kilograms per person per year in both regions, although bread consumption by inhabitants in both areas is still notable.

Adaptation and responsibility

New demands by customers and new lifestyles and consumption habits have impacted frozen dough companies' market strategies. This has favored the launch of a wide range of breads, pastries and cakes with formats adapted to the new needs of final consumers, supermarkets and the HoReCa channel.

According to Asemac, member companies are part of a committed sector that is sustainable in every way.

"It's an economically sustainable sector, since not only does it generate wealth in Spain, but it also plays a social function, as some of our associates' largest factories are in rural areas where, in addition to creating jobs, they ensure that those who live there need not emigrate to large cities", says Felipe Ruano.

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01/08/2017