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The rise of the little chefs

The rise of the little chefs

  • Toddlers are turning into mini Mary Berrys with three quarters now keen bakers
  • The average age children now take up baking is 3-5 years old
  • Over a third of children now tune in to Great British Bake Off

With the return of the Great British Bake Off, leading furniture retailer IKEA has found that children as young as three are now budding Mary Berry-style bakers. Over 70% of kids aged 3-16 now get stuck in with baking in their spare time, by far the most popular culinary pursuit of those surveyed.

Sales data from IKEA supports this, showing that family cooking is on the up with children’s aprons +33% YTD, the BEKVAM stool for reaching the sideboard +150%, and DROMMAR kids baking set +21% – all pointing to the rise of little chefs seeking to perfect their buttery biscuit base before they start school.

And it isn’t just the real thing that is surging. The ever-popular DUKTIG play kitchen has seen an increase of 21% since 2014, showing that children are as happy playing at their own imaginary GBBO as they are baking with their parents.

Whilst Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood challenge contestants to try their hand at sugar spinning, bread baking, pies, pastries and patisseries, it seems the humble cake is the item of choice for young bakers with three quarters of kids regularly trying their hand at a Victoria Sponge or lemon drizzle.

Eager to support their children’s passions, and indulge in a sweet treat or two themselves, almost 80% of parents have taken steps to make their kitchen more child-friendly and children now cook with their parents up to three times a week.

Darryl Pirie, head of cooking and eating from IKEA UK and Ireland says:
“The Great British Bake Off has become a British cultural institution and seeing a national love of baking filter down to children as young as three is really wonderful. At IKEA we’re always working to bring families closer together and ensure that children can be involved in every aspect of family life – especially something as universally loved as baking.

“From child friendly aprons and cookie cutters right through to our METOD kitchen set that can be customised to allow our little chefs easy access to the counter, we’re continuing to ensure the kitchen is fun for all the family.”