The Great British Bake Off 2014 kicks off tonight, with retailer John Lewis suggesting the show has become a major driving force in the sales of kitchen gadgets.
With the baking show having transformed from cult hit to mainstream giant of the TV schedule in recent years, the retailer has suggested it is now the programme most likely to influence consumers’ buying habits.
He added: “The Bake Off has the biggest influence [on consumers]. It is so easily monitored as the baking industry is so linear.”
Although John Lewis is now prepared for the sales boost associated with the return of the Bake Off, the seller has admitted this wasn’t ways the case.
“What’s happening now – and we didn’t appreciate this a couple of years ago – is that when that programme goes on, everyone talks about it,” Marsh said.
“The whole media talks about it. All the retailers talk about it. Suddenly there is nothing you can do without being confronted by a particular recipe or cook or chef.”
According to the high street retailer, this chatter quickly transforms into sales, with kitchen gadgets such as stand mixers, food processors and blenders benefitting from much of the attention.
“There is a real halo effect on the whole industry from the show,” Marsh told us. “Like supermarkets sell out of certain ingredients from things people have seen on the TV the night before, we see a similar thing with KitchenAid stand mixers, Kenwood stand mixers and things like that.”
What’s the cause of the Bake Off’s retail impact? According to Marsh, the show’s nature makes the prospect of baking accessible to the masses.
He stated: “I think this is one of those emotional categories that people relate to very quickly and therefore decide that they want something to recreate it at home.”
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