Industry facts

Bread was eaten at least 7,500 years ago!

It remains our staple food today. It was called ‘The Staff of Life’ in Biblical times!

  • The workers who built the pyramids of Egypt were paid in bread.
  • The Great Fire of London started in a baker’s shop.
  • The Federation of Bakers was formed in 1942 to assist in organising wartime production and distribution of bread.
  • The bread industry is the second largest in the food sector with annual sales of £3.5 billion.
  • We eat the equivalent of over 9 million large loaves of bread every day.
  • There are three basic types of bread – white, brown and wholemeal – but more than 200 varieties are available to the UK consumer.
  • Bread contains protein, complex carbohydrates, calcium, iron and the B vitamins – thiamin, niacin and a little riboflavin.
  • Bread provides more protein, iron, B vitamins and complex carbohydrates per penny than any other food.
  • Bread is the major source of fibre in our diet, providing a quarter of our daily intake.
  • Bread contains very little fat and virtually no sugar.
  • 70% of the bread we eat is white.
  • The sandwich commemorates the Earl of Sandwich – a famous gambler. A slice of meat between two slices of bread could be eaten without having to leave the gaming table for a meal!
  • Sandwiches account for up to 50% of the bread we eat.
  • The inventor of the Christmas Cracker was a sweet maker, baker and pastry chef called Tom Smith. He invented them in 1846 for sale in his confectionary business in London.
  • The record for the longest loaf ever produced is held by a bakery in Acapulco, Mexico, which baked a 9,200 metre `Rosca de Reyes` loaf in January 1996.