American Industry Overview: Bread, Cake, and Related Products

This industry is comprised of establishments that make fresh or frozen breads or rolls and perishable bakery products such as cakes, pies, and pastries.

Industry Snapshot

The value of goods shipped by the commercial bakery industry in 2008 was approximately $24.9 billion. Although consumers were buying less bread than in previous decades by the mid-2000s, they were buying more expensive, higher-profit labels. As a mature industry, bakeries generate most of their growth through higher-end specialty breads. Cost cutting and industry consolidation also have helped to buoy profits. During the 2000s, trendy sandwich shops, bakery cafes, and high-end bakeries became increasing popular, which opened new markets for local and regional bakeries that could provide "hot-out-of-the-oven" European-style breads. In addition, once the diet research moved away from saturated fats and toward whole foods, the low-carb craze lifted the industry's profits back up, since bakers make the least profit on white bread and the most on whole grain, low-carb varieties, which the low-carb diets promoted.