The rise of sourdough to become UK’s fastest growing bread variety

Sourdough is now so popular with British shoppers that it has become the UK’s fastest growing bread variety – with demand for the hard-crusted, rustic styled bread soaring by nearly 40 per cent in the last year at Tesco.

Tesco now sells around 100,000 sourdough loaves a week and has just launched its first ever sourdough baguette in order to offer customers more choice at lunchtime.

In the last five years, Tesco has almost quadrupled its sourdough range to bring customers new varieties and meet demand.

Among the reasons for the strong growth are the rising popularity of speciality loaves and trendy brunch treats like avocado on sourdough. 

Tesco bakery buyer Alice McConnell explains:

“Interest in this wonderfully tangy and chewy bread has grown spectacularly in the last few years and for those that still have not tried it there is nothing quite like hot, toasted sourdough and butter.

“As customer demand has grown, we now have 10 sourdough bread products on offer, including a baguette, roll, pitta bread and gluten free varieties.

“Instead of seeing bread as just something to toast or make a sandwich with, more people are beginning to appreciate it as a food to savour, and one that can have many different flavours and complex tastes.”

Tesco offers the following sourdough breads:

  • Tesco Sourdough Loaf  400g
  • Tesco Sourdough Bloomer 420g
  • Tesco Sourdough Pave
  • Tesco Sourdough Baguette
  • Tesco Ancient Grain Sourdough Pitta Bread
  • Tesco Sourdough Roll
  • The Rustik Bakery 5 Seed Sourdough 450g
  • The Rustik Bakery Sourdough 450g
  • The Polish Bakery Highlander Bread Sourdough 800g
  • Kelkin Gluten Free Sourdough Plain 200g


Note to editors

Sourdough is thought to be one of the oldest forms of bread and is believed to have been discovered accidentally several thousand years ago in Egypt.

Traditional sourdough gets its wonderful flavour due to the time and effort put into producing the bread.

The flavour develops because of the long fermenting process. No commercial yeast is used, the natural yeast spores present in the levain are cultivated by feeding the mother dough (levain) on a regular basis and allowing it to ferment.

Once the dough is prepared it is left to develop for several hours – a process called bulk fermentation. The loaf is then shaped and placed in a temperature controlled environment overnight to final prove.

In general sourdough products are baked directly onto the stone floor of the oven with steam to create the crisp all round crust. This method of bread production gives a full flavour loaf that has a chewy open texture with a crisp crust.


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