History of bread – 21st century


The industry continued to battle with persistent below cost selling of bread by the supermarkets with regular promotions seeing loaves being sold at 19p.



The long awaited Competition Commission Report into the Supermarkets was published and one of the recommendations was the setting up of a new Supermarket Code of Practice to redress the balance between the large supermarkets and their suppliers.


The industry established an independent company, Bakers Basco Limited, to implement and manage a new industry standard ‘Omega’ bread basket to provide an industry wide solution for delivering bread and to address the loss and misuse of bread baskets which costs the industry millions of pounds each year.


Due to poor wheat harvests and rising energy costs the price of a standard loaf reached £1 for the first time.


The 750 year old Bread Weights Legislation which stretched back to the Assize of Bread and Ale of 1266 and governed the weight of bread for sale in the UK was finally abolished by and EU Directive. The first 600g loaf of bread went on sale and now bread is sold in all sizes and weights.


Since the introduction of FSA salt targets for foods, plant bakers have continued to implement salt reductions in their products enabling salt in bread to be reduced by 37% by comparison to the levels in 2000. The average salt content of a sliced and wrapped loaf is now 1.1g per 100g.


The Chorleywood Bread Process celebrates its 50th Anniversary! The Chorleywood Bread Process revolutionised bread production in the UK by facilitating larger scale production and producing a loaf with a longer shelf life whilst continuing to bring a healthy nutritious loaf of bread to the British public.


The Department for Environment & Rural Affairs (Defra) issued a consultation on the Bread & Flour Regulations 1998 seeking views on its continued need and requirement to mandatory fortify wheat flour with calcium, iron, niacin and thiamin. Responses overwhelmingly were in favour of retention and so the Regulations remain unchanged.


The Food Information to Consumers Regulation (FIC) 1169/2011 came into force 13th December 2014 introducing the requirement to label nutrients added to wheat flour.  Labelling on pre-packed bakery products generally appears as Wheat Flour [contains calcium, iron, niacin (B3) and thiamin (B1)].

On the 13th December 2016 FIC made nutrition labelling a mandatory requirement for most pre-packaged foods.


The Federation of Bakers celebrated the 75th Anniversary since the formation of the Federation of Wholesale and Multiple Bakers in 1942 which was established to assist in the organisation of wartime production and distribution of bread.

Public Health England (PHE) commenced an industry wide programme of sugar reduction in food and drink products including bakery morning goods. The Federation continues to work with PHE to help them appreciate the diversity of the morning goods category and the enormous challenges in meeting any reduction sugar guidelines.