A piece of cake: How Bake Off is really changing lives

It’s that time of year again – the Great British Bake Off has arrived at the finals. The anxious anticipation of who will be crowned the winner before switching off the ovens until next year is upon us.

What started off as a humble show about baking has morphed into a national phenomenon and it doesn’t look to be a flash in the pan. People young and old across the country are diving into recipe books and cooking up a storm, with 80% of the population now baking[i].

To find out just how much of an impact the culinary show has had on the British public, we asked them ourselves with a survey of 2,000 people aged 18+ across the UK.

You’re probably asking yourself why pensions specialists would want to ask people about baking, of all things. It’s simple really: we are interested in how our preferences and hobbies change over time. The key takeaway for us is that people are consciously shaping their own lifestyles around the things that matter to them, whether that’s baking or anything else.

So what did we discover? Let’s find out.

Breaking the mould

If you were to picture a stereotypical baker 10 or so years ago, the first image that popped into your head may have been your nan. If the Great British Bake Off has taught us anything, though, it’s that people of all ages and backgrounds enjoy the culinary pastime. After all, the show’s youngest winners have been in their 20s and many of the contestants are of a similar age.

Perhaps this explains the statistics of those surveyed from the nation itself: while 82% of over-65s bake, it’s those aged 18-24 that take the cake with a whopping 92% of them breaking out the mixing bowls. They’re most inspired by the Great British Bake Off, too.

Baking can be more than a hobby, as well – our results showed that 14% of people aged between 35 and 44 make extra income with their delicacies.

Passing the test of time

If so many youngsters are whipping out the whisk, that must be reflected in lots of weird and wacky dishes being made, right?

Apparently not.

Pinterest may feature modern creations like avocado mousse, but close to half of today’s bakers are still choosing to make the trusty apple pie and almost a third opt for cheesecake.

That’s not to say that there’s a lack of adventure in the kitchen, mind you. Cake pops and avocado desserts topped the favourites list of 5% of people, with Birmingham, Nottingham and Bristol playing host to the nation’s most adventurous bakers.

Keeping it all for yourself

Sharing your baked treats with others is one of the best parts of cooking. For people in Liverpool, giving the goodies to friends and family is one of the main reasons for baking. After all, even fussy eaters can be counted on to enjoy a good cake.

And yet, despite so many millennials being avid bakers, there’s a surprising shortage of the number of people sharing their creations online. Right now Instagram has more than 190 million posts with the hashtag #food, and over 101 million using the hashtag #foodporn[ii].

Those numbers suggest that we are barely eating anything without first sharing it online, when actually less than 4% of people admit to sharing their bakes on social media. Instead of sharing lots of home creations, we seem to be uploading impressive, perfectly assembled food from restaurants.

Perhaps the Great British Bake Off’s impeccable dishes are making the nation feel insecure about the presentation of their own bakes?

Britain’s favourite baked goods

We already know that traditional items are still the favourites, so what else are we cooking? Wonder no more, because we’ve compiled the nation’s top 10 baked goods:

Apple pie (44%)
Cheesecake (32%)
Rhubarb crumble (30%)
Victoria sponge cake (28%)
Cupcakes (27%)
Bread (26%)
Chocolate chip cookies (25%)
Lemon drizzle cake (25%)
Savoury pie (17%)
Rainbow coloured sponge cake (8%)

Pie Chart Baking Results

Infused with passion

Britain has the baking bug, and it doesn’t look to be going away any time soon. It’s about more than cakes and pies, though: it’s an indication of how we can shape our lifestyles around our passions and hobbies, even earning some extra money out of it if we want to.

Every day, millions of people around the UK are indulging in their passion, from amateurs to professionals, and all getting a lot of happiness out of it.

And perhaps the really important thing is that it doesn’t matter how old you are, how good you are, or if you’re doing it for yourself or others – just that it’s a hobby you choose to pursue.


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i Figures from Portafina’s September 2016 survey of 2,000 people, aged 18+, in the UK

ii http://www.business.com/social-media-marketing/food-photo-frenzy-inside-the-instagram-craze-and-travel-trend/

The details provided in this article are for general information only and are in no way deemed to be financial advice. All of the material is correct as of the publication date, but could be out-of-date by the time you read the article. For our latest information and news, please see our articles section: https://www.portafina.co.uk/whats-new

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