A Baker’s Dozen Facts about Bread

Some key facts about bread, one of our favourite and most versatile staples!

  1. Over 200 different kinds of bread are produced in the UK – as well as the nation’s favourite white sliced loaf there are brown and wholemeal breads, malted and seeded varieties.  They come sliced, unsliced, wrapped, unwrapped, part-baked and frozen.  There are different shaped breads including the cob and coburg, bloomer and batch.  There are continental breads including crusty French baguettes and Italian ciabattas and ethnic breads including naan, chapattis and tortillas.  And there are a wide variety of morning goods and bakery snacks including croissants, crumpets, teacakes and English muffins.  The choice is simply enormous. You can download our consumer factsheet on the bread we eat here.
  2. Bread is one of the UK’s favourite foods, with 96.7% of households buying wrapped bread.
  3. In the UK we eat the equivalent of over 9 million larges loaves of bread every single day.
  4. British men eat more bread than women consuming approximately 113g per day compared to women who eat 76g.
  5. Large bakeries, which produce wrapped and sliced bread, account for 80% of UK bread production. In store bakeries produce about 17% of bread, with the remainder accounted for by High Street (craft) bakeries.
  6. 85% of the flour used to make bread in the UK is produced from home grown wheat.
  7. Over 70% of the bread we eat in the UK is white.
  8. Sandwiches account for 50% of bread consumption; whether bought or made-at-home.
  9. Despite being a staple food in the UK for centuries, bread consumption has fallen steadily over the last few decades. Average consumption now equates to only around 2-3 slices of bread a day.
  10. The NHS Healthy Eating Guide suggests that starchy foods like bread should make up a third of a healthy diet but most people manage only 20%.
  11. Bread is versatile and convenient – it is sold widely from supermarkets to corner shops to petrol stations.  It is also suitable for freezing and can be used slice by slice from the freezer to the toaster.
  12. Bread is healthy – it is low in calories, fat, sugar and salt.
  13. Bread is nutritious – as well as providing energy, mainly in the form of starch, bread contains dietary fibre and a range of vitamins and minerals. Analysis of the UK Government’s National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) in 2012 suggests that bread still contributes more than 10% of an adult’s daily intake of protein, thiamine, niacin, folate, iron, zinc, copper and magnesium; 20% of our fibre and calcium intake; and more than 25% of our manganese intake. So eating bread can help consumers meet their daily requirements for many nutrients, including micronutrients for which there is evidence of low intake in some groups in the UK, such as zinc and calcium.

For further information on bread please visit our consumer factsheets page.