Consumers remain loyal to bread

04/10/2004 10:00

Dutch consumers spent a total of nearly 2 billion euro on bread in 2003. Annual consumption of bread has been an average 60 kilos per person for years now. On average each inhabitant spent 121 euro on bread in 2003, one quarter more than 1993, when they spent the equivalent of 97 euro on bread.

Bread consumption per capita

Bread consumption per capita

Fewer and fewer bakeries

The number of bread bakeries decreased by nearly 800 to 2,575 between 1993 and 1 January 2003. The number of small bakeries in particular fell strongly. They are finding it more and more difficult to stay in business. Not only the competition from large bread bakeries which can operate more efficiently because of economies of scale is a threat to small bakery owners; they are also having problems finding someone to take over their business when they retire. The high investment needed to start a small bakery also plays a part in this respect.

Bread bakeries 1993–2003

Bread bakeries 1993–2003

Small bakeries

There were 2,575 bread bakeries in the Netherlands on 1 January 2003. About 90 percent of these businesses employed fewer than twenty workers. Together, these ‘small’ bakeries accounted for nearly half of total turnover in this sector. It is very rare in the manufacturing industry for small businesses to have such a large effect on total turnover in a sector.
In 2003, all bread bakeries together had a turnover of around 0.8 billion euro.

Little international trade

Bread imports from and exports to Belgium and Germany consist mainly of pre-packaged bread that keeps well. Nearly 49 million euro worth of bread was imported to the Netherlands, almost half of it from Belgium. Exports of bread amounted to 51 million euro, again with Belgium as the main export country.

Hans Draper