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A taste of tradition

It’s no coincidence that Robert Burns, our national bard, described Scotland as a ‘land o’ cakes’.

From home bakers to artisan producers and the wider industry, Scottish bakers are rising to the double challenge of creating new products and finding fresh markets for our traditional products. Many uniquely Scottish delicacies - shortbread, oatcakes, tablet, fruit cake, ginger bread and speciality biscuits - have already found a global fan base, and not only among the expat community. 

Their flavours, once tasted, are hard to resist.

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A unique heritage

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Scotland's larder

Working with all the ingredients available in Scotland, it’s no wonder the country has a distinctive and unique bakery heritage.

From Scotch pies to Forfar bridies, Aberdeen butteries to Dundee cake, Selkirk bannocks to tattie scones, everyone has their own favourite sweet or savoury treat. Add in the delights of caramel wafers, macaroon bars and a range of speciality breads, and Scotland has a lot to offer international buyers.

Today’s bakers are building on that tradition, using their skills to create new and healthier products aimed at a growing global market. Using locally grown and milled flour and oats, Scottish baked goods offer a truly unique taste of tradition.

Exports are a key part of our business. We currently export to 30 countries around the world and have experienced the benefits from this, but we know there are many more potential opportunities out there.”

Mark Laing Chairman, Nairn's Oatcakes

Old grains, new flavours

Oats, one of Scotland’s oldest cereal crops, are the heart of many of the country’s bakery favourites. Now recognised for their health benefits - they can help cut heart disease and are one of the best slow-release complex carbohydrates - this age old staple of the Scots diet is finding new fans.

Scottish bakers have been quick to respond, with many traditional recipes given innovative and modern twists aimed at health conscious customers and those who require gluten-free products.

As well as the old favourites, these new products are already finding and delighting new consumers.

125 years and counting

The industry in Scotland is overseen by Scottish Bakers, a trade association set up over 125 years ago to promote their members’ products and act as their public voice.

And the sector - boasting a turnover in excess of £595 million, and employing over 16,000 people in manufacturing and retail - has a lot to shout about.

Scottish Bakers represents over 230 manufacturing and retail businesses, making up 24% of Scotland’s Food and Drink Manufacturing base and over 12% of the country’s retail sector.

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Scotland on a plate

With exports already valued at £100 million a year, overseas markets are seen as a key growth area.

Famous names such as Tunnock’s, Borders Biscuits, Dean’s of Huntly, Walkers Shortbread and Lees already have long-established export businesses, taking Scottish baked delicacies to the wider world. 

Tunnock’s Caramel Wafers and Caramel Logs aren’t only Scottish favourites. They fly off the shelves in the Middle East, South Africa and Australia, while traditional, Scottish-made shortbread is famed from New York to New Guinea. 

Scottish Bakers helps Scottish bakery companies make the most of export opportunities, as well as offering training courses aimed at protecting and developing traditional bakery craft skills.

Rising to the challenge

Meet the demand for artisan breads 

Recent years have seen a resurgence in demand for hand-made breads and bakery products, and the Scottish industry has risen to the occasion.

Across the country, a new generation of bakers are learning traditional skills and reinventing old recipes to satisfy today’s customers. From reduced salt and gluten-free products, to traditional sourdough and speciality breads and cakes, these new arrivals are putting the ‘art’ back into artisan baking. 

The high street has been quick to follow, with many big name chains now offering a wider, lighter, and healthier range of baked goods. Scotland now boasts baguettes to rival Boulogne, pastries which wouldn’t be out of place in Prague, and quality cakes that can vie with Vienna.

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We're here to help

Whether you’re a wholesaler, retailer, foodservice operator, importer or an agent - and wherever you are in the world - we can help. 

We have an extensive network of offices around the world. Our international staff live and work within their office locale, have a comprehensive understanding of your market-specific business needs and can help link you to Scottish bakery producers and suppliers. 

Contact us