The Big Business of Pancake Day
17 February 2015 by Marketing Team
Pancake Day is here! That’s right; today millions of people around the world will be celebrating Shrove Tuesday by eating mountains of pancakes.
Not everyone celebrates the day before Lent as ‘Pancake Day’ though: Most Americans wouldn’t know what you were talking about for instance, as they celebrate ‘Mardi Gras’ (or Fat Tuesday) instead on this day – Same reasons, same day, different celebrations. But for millions of Brits, Canadians (hello Maple Syrup!), Australians and many more, Pancake Day is big business.
Traditionally Pancakes are eaten on this day because they contain fat, butter and eggs which were forbidden during the Christian festival of Lent. With Shrove Tuesday being the final day before Lent, leading up to Easter Sunday, today represents the chance for a final feast of forbidden fruits….. Of course you can now choose to ignore the religious connotations if you want and just enjoy the delicious pancakes.
Just as Christmas Day lets you eat mountains of turkey and Easter lets you eat entire eggs of chocolate, today lets you enjoy copious amounts of pancakes with less guilt than on any other day of the year!
But for all the religious origins, the day is now huge commercial business. Even though it’s theoretically part of Easter celebrations, today is closer in a commercial sense to last week’s big romantic event, Valentine’s Day.
It may not carry the sheer financial clout of Valentine’s, which brought in an estimated £1.6bn to the UK economy (and a rather strange sale increase in America), but Pancake Day itself sees soaring sales for some very distinct businesses.
You won’t be eating plain pancakes today and products like Nutella stand to benefit: One million jars are expected to be sold in the UK in just one week leading up to today. Or maybe you’re thinking of the American pancake route instead? Well let’s look at Clarks (The maple syrup manufacturer, not the shoe shop). More than 300,000 bottles of their maple syrup are expected to be sold today, everywhere from Tesco to Lidl and Ocado. They are breaking records year on year and with the maple syrup market in the UK growing to over £15m, it is a reflection of the continuing commercial success of Pancake Day.
The pre-mix batter industry is another beneficiary; it may be an extremely seasonal product, but with Sainsbury’s alone selling enough of it to flip three million pancakes, it’s also an extremely successful one. Don’t forget you need something to actually do the flipping in as well – Cookware brands like Tefal will certainly love this week.
Days like Pancake Day, Valentine’s Day or Bonfire Night may all be frowned upon as being ‘too commercial’ nowadays, but that aspect certainly has its benefits. From maple syrup producers, to card shops and fireworks manufacturers, days like these support hundreds of smaller companies and seasonal goods. The seasonal boosts in sales that these occasions provide are vital for some companies and in some instances, entire industries.
The record sales that are being seen across the board also point to their ongoing and ever-increasing popularity and today means that we should all keep on enjoying the culinary treats on the big business of Pancake Day.
Has reading this made you feel hungry? Are you thinking of what pancake option to go for later on? Then why not head over to our Facebook page and complete one of our pancake polls or leave us a comment to tell us how you’ll be celebrating Pancake Day….. American or French? Sweet or savoury? Homemade or shop bought? What will you be going for…..