The quintessential afternoon tea has been a staple of British culture for many years. Now thanks to popular television shows such as Downtown Abbey and the Great British Bake Off, the afternoon tea is enjoying a revival, with grand hotels and independent coffee shops alike serving up this slice of English heritage.
Similarly, events such as the Royal Wedding and the Queen’s jubilee help propel British traditions in to the spotlight. Many domestic consumers celebrated these occasions with afternoon tea parties whilst tourists to the UK were keen to indulge in this British novelty.
Some venues are now experiencing unprecedented demand for their afternoon teas. For example iconic London hotel, Claridges, asks guests to make reservations up to 90 days in advance to be in with a chance of securing a table.
Traditionally, afternoon tea would involve baking a selection of full size cakes from which guests could select slices to enjoy with a cup of refreshing tea. However, over time, large family cakes have been replaced my mini ‘bitesize’ versions of traditional favourites such as the Victoria sponge, allowing for easier, quicker serving and cost saving on waste. In keeping with this theme, operators are incorporating mini versions of a whole host of other foods to help attract customers looking for an innovative take on traditional tastes.
Reflecting the shift in attitudes, sales of small cakes grew by 28% between 2003 to 2007 to £767million. The consumer population in the UK now spends over twice as much on individual cakes as they do on large, family-sized cakes.
With the birth of a second royal baby on the horizon, the demand for afternoon show no sign of slowing down. Here at Destiny Foods, we manufacture a wide range of teatime cakes, desserts and savoury items allowing operators to create an afternoon tea selection fit for the Queen.