BEMA Intel

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BEMA Intel Industry Indicators

  • In the first quarter of 2024, Commercial Aisle Bakery dollar sales for the quarter totaled $21.9 billion, a gain of 0.9% over the corresponding quarter in 2023. However, unit sales were down slightly 0.4% for the same period, continuing to suggest that increased prices due to high inflation have impacted consumer demand in the category.
  • In the first quarter of 2022, In-Store Bakery dollar sales were up 1.9% to $4.9 billion compared to the corresponding quarter a year ago, with unit sales up 0.9%.
  • The Grain-Based Foods Stock Index was down 5.4% in the first quarter of 2024, while the S&P 500 increased 15.2%.
  • The Consumer Price Index for Bakery Products increased slightly at 0.9% in March 2024 compared to the previous year, following major increases in the CPI that began during the inflationary period in 2022.
  • Baking ingredient costs for almost all categories tracked by Milling & Baking News’ Bakery Ingredient Indexes are on the decline. The index for cake donuts was down a substantial 31.1% in 2024Q1 compared to a year ago and down 28.9% for devils food cake. Ingredient costs for white pan bread continued to decrease 22.0% in 2024Q1 compared to a year ago. The only exception to cost decline is pasta, which saw increases of 36.7% compared to a year ago.
  • Unemployment remains fairly low at 3.8%, and Unit Labor Costs are leveling out somewhat, with an increase of 1.9% for 2024Q1 compared to the same quarter a year ago.
  • Flour production was up slightly at 0.7% in 2024Q1 compared to a year ago.

BEMA Intel Member Pulse Survey

  • Equipment manufacturer industry outlook declined in 2024Q1, with 79% expressing a ‘positive’ outlook, compared to 85% in 2023Q4.
  • In the area of company bookings, 21% of equipment manufacturers reported increased bookings in 2024Q1, down from 43% in 2023Q4.  A full 28% of equipment manufacturers reported decreased bookings in 2024Q1, up from only 16% in the fourth quarter of 2023.
  • Attracting and retaining a quality workforce is the top concern for equipment manufacturers, with 55% citing it as a challenge in 2024Q1.
  • Concerns over raw material costs have decreased significantly, with 36% of equipment manufacturers reporting concerns in 2024Q1, down from a high of 91% in 2022Q2. Concerns are also declining in the area of transportation/logistics (21% in 2024Q1 compared to a high of 78% in 2021Q4).
  • Concerns about a weaker domestic economy and sales for products to U.S. customers is on the decline from the fourth quarter of 2023, with 36% of manufacturers citing this as a concern in 2024Q1.

Summary 2024 Q1

BEMA Intel Q1
BEMA Intel Q1
BEMA Intel Q1


The BEMA Intel Industry Summary report presents at-a-glance topline trends for key U.S. economic and commercial baking industry indicators. Updated quarterly, this overview provides a high-level view of the state of commercial baking and equipment manufacturing industries to aid in planning and critical decision making.

BEMA Intel Industry Indicators
This report contains detailed, historical. and current trending data for key industry indicators most helpful in understanding the changing health of the U.S. commercial baking and equipment manufacturing industries, as provided by data from Circana, Milling and Baking News, USDA and more. The complete report is only available to BEMA members.

BEMA Intel Member Pulse Survey
A confidential online survey among BEMA equipment manufacturing members reflecting global and U.S. industry outlooks, company outlook by product channel and bookings/sales, and top business challenges. The full results of this survey are only available to BEMA members.