Bread and bakery products in Europe - Statistics and Facts

Bread is a food staple in most countries in Europe, and many people eat bread or wheat-based meals at least once a day – if not twice. In 2016, the retail sales value of bread in Europe was estimated to be about 84 billon U.S. dollars. This was expected to continue to increase until 2021, when the total market would reach a value of approximately 105.3 billion dollars.

France represents Europe’s largest bread and bakery products market, with a retail value of 23.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2015, followed by Italy and Germany at 23.4 and 22.8 billion dollars respectively. In comparison, the market in Romania is valued at approximately one-seventh of the size of the French market, at 3.4 billion euros. Of the three largest markets, only the German market is forecast to increase between 2015 and 2019, with the expected retail value decreasing slightly in France and Italy.

The majority of the bakery products consumed in Europe was bread, with an approximate market share of 80 percent in 2015. Patisserie, viennoiserie and savory pastry followed, with market shares of 11, 7 and 3 percent respectively. That year, the majority of these products (roughly 70 percent) were sold fresh, but pre-packed long-life products made up approximately one-quarter of the total sales volume too. Bake-off products were good for five percent of the total sales. In total, Europeans on average consumed 57 kilos of bread and bakery products per capita.

Bread and bakery products are produced in a number of different ways: by large industrial companies, by traditional smaller-scale bakeries as well as by people at home. In 2015, artisan bakers made up the majority of the bakery product supply chain at 28 percent, followed by pre-packed long-life products at 25 percent. Italy was home to the largest number of bakery companies in 2016, at 1,974. In comparison, Germany only had 499 bakeries that year, despite being only a slightly smaller retail market. On the other end of the spectrum, Ireland only had 11 bakery companies, and Estonia 15.

Whereas regular bakery products sales are forecast to slightly decrease in a number of large markets, the health and wellness bakery products market is expected to grow considerably in the near future. In 2015, the German healthy bakery products market was valued at 1.72 billion U.S. dollars, with the UK following at 1.6 billion dollars. In 2015, the largest number of organic processors of bakery products could be found in France, with 5,580 companies. In comparison, runner-up Italy only had 847 organic bakery processors. Organic bread processing is far less popular in Croatia (1 processor in 2015), Cyprus (2 companies) and Iceland (3 processors). Based on the total market, organic food was most popular in Switzerland (4.5 percent market share) and Sweden (3.4 percent). With the ever increasing popularity of organic food, though, the market shares for organic bread and bakery products are only expected to increase further all over Europe.

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Bakery product industry in Europe

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United Kingdom



Southern Europe


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