Bakery and Confectionery Industry in Bangladesh

Bakery and Confectionery Industry in Bangladesh

Baked items are not traditional in Bangladesh, but almost all classes of people in the country consume Bakery items. In the last century, there were only a few bakeries in Dhaka. But now, various bakery items are readily available in every area, from grocery stores to super shops. As a result, the country’s bakery and confectionery sector has grown at an average rate of 10 to 12 percent annually since 2000. In addition to the increasing income, changes in eating habits have helped this industry grow steadily over the past two decades. In addition to big brands like Pran, Olympic, Deco, and Nabisco, thousands of local bakeries across the country are now serving the global market after meeting the local demand. Several bakery brands such as Pran, Olympic, Deco, and Nabisco operate their businesses in the market. These companies have become self-sufficient in meeting local demand, and some manufacturers have already been able to reach the global market.

Overview of Bakery Industry

The history of baking dates back to the Roman Empire thousands of years ago. The Romans loved baked items so much that there was a massive demand for baked items at weddings and celebrations. As a result, baking became a respectable occupation for the Romans around 300 BC. Later, as the need for baked food began to increase, baking became popular in Europe and East Asia. During the Portuguese and English rule, cooking techniques like baking became popular in the Indian subcontinent. In the past, traditional cake (pitha) was a significant item in Bangladeshi cuisine culture. However, there were some bakeries in Bangladesh during British rule. According to The Daily Star, Prince of Wales is probably the oldest bakery in Dhaka, established in 1850 by a British baker at Laxmi Bazar, Dhaka. Later, the bakery industry gradually spread to other parts of Dhaka and across the country.

For several, some conglomerates and traditional bakeries in Bangladesh have met the demand for local bakery products. In addition, a significant amount of premium bakery items are imported from abroad as well. However, due to globalization, people’s eating habits are changing, with local companies developing different types of bakery items for the domestic market. In 2008, the per capita rate of the people consuming bakery items in the country was 0.43 kg, but in 2021 it increased to 2.09 kg.

The per capita rate of the people consuming bakery items in the country increased from 0.43 kg in 2008 to 2.09 kg in 2021.

According to a report by Financial Express, the market size of bakery items in Bangladesh in 2021 is BDT 7 thousand crores. Bangladesh Auto Biscuit and Bread Manufacturers Association (BABBMA) and Bangladesh Bread, Biscuits O Confectionery Prostutkarok Samity (BBBCPS) estimate 97%-98% of the total production by the local manufacturers consumed locally, and the rest 2%-3% are exported. Moreover, 60% of the local bakery industry demand is met by automated biscuit factories and their established brands, while non-brand manufacturers meet 36%. The rest, 4%, is imported.

Besides, local bakeries have also started exporting food to the international market. According to Bangladesh Agro-Processors’ Association-BAPA and Bangladesh Auto Biscuit & Bread Manufacturing Association-BABBMA, Bangladesh exports 15,000 to 16,000 tons of bakery items annually, valued at around BDT 500 crore. Most of Bangladesh’s bakery products are exported to Saudi Arabia, Oman, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates, and Somalia. The leading consumer group of these export products is Bangladeshi expatriates. To facilitate the export of bakery items, the Government of Bangladesh has approved a maximum of 20 percent monetary incentive.
According to Md Jalal Uddin, President of Bangladesh Bread Biscuits O Confectionery Prostutkarok Samity (BBBCPS), “More than 2 million people are working in the bakery industry of Bangladesh, including factory workers and small-scale tea stall owners.”

Bangladesh’s bakery industry is one of the few industries in the country that was in a good position at the epidemic. According to BABBMA President Md. Shafiqur Rahman Bhuiyan, “The sector has grown by 20 percent during the COVID-19 outbreak due to increased demand for packaged dry food.”

Major Players

Olympic

A few big companies are dominating the bakery industry in Bangladesh. Olympic started its journey in 1979 and is the largest bakery and biscuit product manufacturer and distributor in Bangladesh. By 2021, the company’s top three biscuit brands, Energy Plus, Tip, and Nutty, combined hold 25 to 30 percent of the country’s biscuit industry. In addition, Milk Marie, Queen Marie, Malai Cream, Orange, and Dry Cake Biscuit are a few other popular products from Olympic. In 2019-20, Olympic Industries Ltd’s revenue was BDT 1620 crore. According to Financial Express, the company has invested around BDT 42 crore to increase production capacity.

In 2021, Energy Plus, Tip, and Nutty held a combined market share of 25% to 30% of the country’s biscuit industry.

Pran

Pran is the second-largest player in Bangladesh’s bakery industry. According to BABBMA, with over 25 percent market share, Pran is currently the market leader in the Bun and Cake segment. Due to its diversified products and strong distribution channels, Pran’s ‘All time’ is one of its most selling brands. However, despite starting to operate in 2012, Pran has become the second market dominator with an 8 percent market share in the industry in the last decade due to variations in the company’s biscuit line. Pran’s Funcrack, Masala Rusk, Nice Biscuit, cookies, Roma cookies, special toast, mini toast, and garlic toast are popular among bakery items. In addition, “Pran Chanachur” is one of the best-selling items of Pran. Pran also sells their bakery items across the country, from super shops to wholesale and retail stores through two retail chains called ‘Mithai’ and ‘Tasty Treat.’ Pran items are sold in 145 countries worldwide, including countries in Asia, Africa, North America, Canada, and Europe.

Pran products are sold in 145 countries worldwide.

Nabisco

Nabisco Biscuit and Bread Factory are one of the oldest companies in the bakery industry of Bangladesh. Before independence, the company was under the administration of Pakistan and became a private company in 1983. Due to its vast popularity in the 80s and 90s, it was the only market leader in the bakery industry. According to BABBMA, Nabisco is the second-largest biscuit manufacturer in Bangladesh, along with Pran, and has a market share of 8%. Glucose, Milk Cream, Crunchi, and Elachi are some of Nabisco’s most famous biscuit brands. The company has more than two dozen brands, including biscuits, bread, cake, and confectionery.

In addition to these three major players in the bakery industry, there are other prominent players like Haque, Al-Amin, Partex, New Olympia, Ispahani, Bangas, Romania, Fu-Wang, Bonoful, Thai Food, Bengal, Gold Mark, Mashafi, Ifad, Cocola, Pinnacle. In addition to the giant companies, several traditional bakeries like Mamataj, Muslims, Prince, Chhayaneer, and Shahjalal are currently operating in Bangladesh. Realizing the market potential of the bakery industry, the leading conglomerates and groups of companies are now showing interest in the industry. In this context, in June 2021, the leading conglomerate Akij Group of Bangladesh invested around BDT 1200 crore and established “Akij Bakers.” The company has launched a premium biscuit brand of 4 different flavors called ‘Bakeman.’ Bashundhara Group and Kohinoor have also joined the bakery industry in Bangladesh to increase their competitiveness.

In June 2021, Akij Group of Bangladesh invested around BDT 1200 crore and established “Akij Bakers”.

Current Trends

Branding & Promotion

All the major bakery brands prefer adequate branding and advertising to survive in the market. Bakery items are constantly advertised through billboards, print, and digital media. Each company uniquely promotes its products for market acquisition.

Healthy Food Preferences

Nowadays, people are paying more attention to healthy food. As a result, bakery manufacturers are also introducing ‘sugar-free,’ ‘low carb,’ and ‘low fat’ bakery items for these health-conscious people. For example, several companies are introducing “brown bread” in the market, containing more fiber and nutrients than “white bread.” Also, previously baked items were sold without proper packaging. But as consumers become more aware, companies are also beginning to offer attractive packaging to their bakery products.

Transformation in Traditional Bakeries

While the big automated factories are constantly gaining market share, the traditional bakeries are continually coming up with new products to survive in such competition. In addition, by eliminating their standard business practices, bakeries have begun to operate more professionally. Besides this, bakeries upgrade their product and packaging quality to maintain product hygiene. In addition, traditional bakeries are now offering western fast food products such as pastry cakes, burgers, and sandwiches according to local demand. On the other hand, bakeries that cannot break away from traditional business practices and sell only biscuits, cakes, and bread items are complex to survive in a competitive market. According to the president of BBBCPS, more than 20 percent of small bakeries have been forced to close due to competition with large companies in the last ten years.

Rising Exports

In 2005, about 15 to 16 percent of all bakery items were imported from the international market. At present, import volume has come down to 4 percent. According to BABBMA, Bangladesh exported biscuits worth about BDT 137 crore in FY 2015-16, which grew to BDT 334 crore in FY 2019-20.

E-commerce Integration

Besides grocery and other products, bakery products are also delivered to consumers’ doorsteps through eCommerce platforms. Consumers order bakery items and other products from grocery and eCommerce platforms like Chaldal.com and Daraz.

Customers can order bakery products from e-commerce platforms like Daraz, Othoba.com, and Chaldal.com

Challenges

Unstable Price

The prices of the ingredients required for manufacturing bakery items are constantly increasing; as a result, the profit margins of the companies are also declining. Besides, although almost all the ingredients of bakery items are produced in Bangladesh, the two main ingredients wheat and palm oil, still have to be imported from abroad. According to a report in The Daily Star published in 2020, Bangladesh imported more than 67.34 million tons of wheat in FY 2019-20, which was more than 31.12 million tons imported in FY 2014-15. In addition, the 20 percent extra tax on products like powdered milk, butter, and other dairy oil products has resulted in increased production costs for bakery products.

Wheat imports increased substantially from 31.12 million tons in FY 2014-2015 to 67.34 million tons in FY 2019-20.

Inadequate Research and Innovation Facilities

Although exports are increasing, the bakery industry in Bangladesh lacks sufficient R&D facilities to ensure new products, flavors, and quality. Hence, the bakery products in Bangladesh do not meet global standards. According to BABBMA, there is a lack of adequate research facilities and laboratories to verify that every manufacturer complies with the Food Safety Regulations on their products. Although the price of bakery items is low, maintaining food safety standards is a major concern.

Quality Maintenance

Local manufacturers in Bangladesh are less likely to maintain world-class food safety. Although there are Food Safety Regulations in Bangladesh, many do not follow those regulations. As a result, the country’s law enforcement authorities are recovering expired and stale products from various manufacturers. In such a situation, maintaining quality and hygiene in the bakery products of the country is a matter of great challenge.

Future Opportunities

The Demand for High-Quality Goods

Along with the increasing income of the people, the demand for quality bakery items is also increasing. For example, making roti/chapati for breakfast is now an almost lost norm. Nowadays, people find it more convenient to buy bread from the market. However, there is still a lack of quality in the locally made bakery products. As a result, there is an opportunity for local manufacturers to provide quality products in this growing market. However, if the sector does not have adequate research and innovation facilities to improve food quality, it will be a major obstacle in meeting production growth or meeting export demand. As a result, in addition to developing adequate R&D facilities in the country, food safety regulations need to be strictly imposed on bakery manufacturers.

Export Potential in Global Market

Bakery products in Bangladesh have a huge potential to serve the global market. Compared to the developed countries, the labor and production cost of preparing bakery items in Bangladesh is relatively low. As a result, if Bangladeshi bakery products are of high quality and can maintain food safety regulations, then the bakery items can also be exported with the tag ‘Made in Bangladesh’ and has vast potential, just like the RMG Industry. Traditional bakeries, meanwhile, are failing to keep up with the big automated manufacturers, but they can come up with unique quality products to meet local demand. In this way, along with the big companies, the traditional bakeries will also be able to export their bakery items globally by collaborating among themselves, which could be a smart survival strategy for traditional bakeries.

Rise of Restaurant Industry

In addition to the growth of Bangladesh’s fast food and restaurant industry, traditional bakeries can serve as the back linkage sector of Bangladesh’s growing fast food industry. Most fast-food restaurants require quality customized bread, bun, dough, and other items. Fast food shops either have to import these items or buy the locally available ones. Traditional bakeries can create the necessary ingredients through partnerships with these fast-food restaurants.

One response to “Bakery and Confectionery Industry in Bangladesh”

  1. Mohammad Abdul Hakim Avatar
    Mohammad Abdul Hakim

    Very useful.

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