Bonkers for Baking – Waitrose see Rising Alternative Flour Sales

Chocolate, tahini, cashew and spelt cookies

Waitrose has seen a huge surge in sales of flour since lockdown began in March, with flour alternatives including buckwheat, coconut and spelt on the rise.

Speciality flours have seen a 73% increase in sales over the last month compared to 2019, with many using these challenging times to get creative in the kitchen. Overall searches for baking on have also increased in the last month by 660%.

Whether people are opting for alternative flours for health reasons, dietary requirements or they just want to get baking, Waitrose has seen sales of kamut flour (Egyptian wheat originally grown by the pharaohs), coconut flour and spelt & rye flour increase by 278%, 51% and 15% respectively compared to last year.

Buckwheat flour – an ideal alternative for those avoiding wheat – is a great source of energy-boosting B vitamins has seen a sales increase of 32%. Customers have also been searching for buckwheat recipes on with Buckwheat Pancakes up 260%, while those looking for a savoury option have driven a 183% increase in searches for the Buckwheat Galettes with Gruyere, Onion and Bacon recipe.

Spelt flour and wholegrain spelt flour have also become increasingly popular with sales up 151% and 268% respectively compared to last year. Searches on for recipes using spelt flour have risen, with the Spelt Loaf recipe seeing a 679% increase while Spelt, Lemon and Maple Drizzle Cake is up 250% and Chocolate, Tahini, Cashew and Spelt Cookies up 389%.

Natalie Breslin, Flour Buyer at Waitrose comments, “Customers are really using this time at home to either reignite a love of baking or get more creative in the kitchen. Alternative flour is a great way to try something new, whether you’re a seasoned baker or  just starting out, adding a twist to a classic recipe is a great way to bring a new flavour dimension to those favourite bakes.”

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