By Nikki Cutler
Brighton bakeware shops have noticed a surge in sales as people are opting to bake their way through the economic crisis.
Photograph used under Creative Commons licence from mccun934
With over two and a half million people unemployed in the UK and almost 18 thousand people claiming unemployment benefits, an increase in sales has been a welcome surprise for shops in the home baking market.
Brighton Bakery on Western Road and Purple-Heart.com on Gardner Street have noticed a considerable rise in sales of home baking equipment in recent months.
Emily, owner of Brighton Bakery said: ”We have definitely noticed big price rises, particularly in butter (gone up twenty per cent in 6 months), ground almonds (gone up twenty five per cent), marzipan and icing.”
Emily said: “You only have to compare the prices for Purple Heart in Brighton with what you can get online (it’s often more than double) – this must show that there is a big demand for home baking supplies in Brighton. ”
This traditional hobby is not only purse-friendly, but has also offered unemployed people a way to relax during their stressful hunt for jobs.
Laura Shotnik, 23, Hove resident said: “I have been searching for a job since I finished uni in May and it was really starting to get me down. I do find that just by baking some cakes and giving them to my friends and family, I suddenly feel really uplifted because it makes me feel like I’m doing something worthwhile.”
“I do also enjoy buying the funky new baking gizmos that shops sell these days because they make the job seem less like work and more like fun.”
TV programmes such as MasterChef, Come Dine With Me, The Great British Bake Off, and Baking Made Easy have helped to inspire people to get back into their kitchens.
Claudia Fisher, owner of Purple-Heart.com said: ”I have been selling cupcake cases for years and noticed how sales were increasing. Over the past couple of years the baking bug has really taken hold. Serving cupcakes at weddings and for other occasions has become more and more popular and a fun alternative to a traditional cake.”
Home baking is quickly becoming a alternative to gift buying as people aim to save their money whilst still giving a thoughtful present.
Mrs Fisher said: “In a recession people still like to be creative but practical too. If you bake your own cake for a special occasion you theoretically save money as well as getting all the glory.”