Bread and Bakery Products - Statistics & Facts

Humans had processed and consumed wild cereal grains about 23,000 years ago. In 9500 BC, simple stone mechanisms were used for crushing a variety of cereals to remove the outer husks and make the grain edible. Later on, these ground grains were mixed with water to create an assortment of food that ranged from a thin gruel to a thick porridge. A bread-like crust would form when the paste was left to dry in the sun. The earliest bread took shape when wild yeast was combined with the powdered grains and water, where the fermentation process slightly raised the crust. Ancient bread evolved when man discovered use of wheat and barley, along with acquiring new skills of turning flour and water into palatable bread.


At present day, bread is a food staple in many cultures all over the world. Bread is typically made from wheat flour dough and yeast, left to rise and then baked in an oven. It can also be made from the flour of other wheat species such as spelt, emmer, einkorn and kamut and non-wheat cereals including rye, barley, maize (corn), oats, sorghum, millet and rice. Breads come in various shapes and sizes: bagels, rolls, buns, flatbreads and the like. While bread is the most common baked item, other types of bake goods include biscuits, brownies, cakes, cookies, crackers and pastries.

In 2015, retail sales of bread and baked goods in the United States amounted to approximately 27.46 billion U.S. dollars. That year, crusty and hot hearth breads accounted for the bulk of U.S. bread sales, followed by artisan and sandwich breads. Grupo Bimbo was the leading vendor of fresh bread in the country in 2015, however, U.S. consumers preferred private labels over top brands such as Nature’s Own and Brownberry. Cakes were the most popular segment in the U.S. baked goods and dessert category in 2016.

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Bread and bakery products in the U.S. - Important statistics

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