According to data from Kantar, the total number of pancake “occasions” (that is, times where Brits eat pancakes) has fallen by 1%, from 198 million occasions in 2017 down to 195 million occasions in 2018.
However, a closer look at the data reveals that this decline is actually as a result of people turning away from homemade and towards readymade pancakes – there has been an 11% decline in homemade occasions compared to an 8% growth in occasions featuring readymade pancakes.
This can be seen in the purchase data: spending on shop bought pancakes was up by £3.8 million (5.3%) to £76 million in 2018. The number of packs bought shot up by 3.7 million (4.4%) to 87 million.
This move towards a quicker more practical pancake has also been mirrored in what needs consumers said they were meeting: with ‘practicality’, and in particular ‘easy to prepare/clear up’, growing by 6% and 12%.
In terms of what other needs are important, health just isn’t a concern and indulgence comes out extremely strongly. Only 7% of servings are chosen for health reasons vs 90% for enjoyment. 28% of all pancake consumption is by kids. It is younger adults (16-45), however, who are driving growth within the category. But with kids being a key demographic, it makes sense that pancakes are eaten in larger, more family-oriented occasions – it’s little surprise that the majority (61%) of all pancake-eating occasions have at least 3 people present.
Then there is the question of toppings, and for 2018 the usual suspects come out very strong. Sugar was the most common topping and was used in 23% of all pancake occasions; chocolate spread comes out second accounting for 12%, and ‘preserves’ rounds off the top 3 accounting for 7%.
Some other notable toppings include lemon and lime juice (6%), honey (5%) and syrup/treacle (5%). Of all the toppings, chocolate spread, lemon and lime juice, and honey have all seen good growth.
So what is most likely to happen on pancake day (this Tuesday)? Homemade pancakes are much more likely to be consumed on this day than during the rest of the year. In the month of March, over half (54%) of pancakes consumed are homemade, compared to only 33% for the rest of the year. Over a fifth (21%) of total homemade pancake consumption comes in the month of pancake day, compared to just 11% of readymade pancakes.
Data for 52 w/e 31 Dec 2017 vs 52 w/e 31 Dec 2018