Retailers call it the "Bake Off effect."
According to the Telegraph, there’s actually a name for this phenomenon: It’s called the “Bake Off effect,” and apparently it’s been happening since the show’s debut in 2010. The department store John Lewis, for instance, has been seeing a “huge spike” in baking supply sales in the run-up to the new season.
"Bake Off bedlam is at a fever pitch ahead of the show's return next Tuesday, and we're already noticing that our customers are kitting out their kitchens in preparation,” Emily Wimborne, a buyer for John Lewis, told the Telegraph.
Spoons, spatulas, cookbooks, cake stands, and Paul Hollywood’s line of cookie cutters have all seen increased sales. The first episode of the show is always dedicated to creating a classic dessert item—cakes—which just might be the influence behind a jump in sales of cupcake toppers and cupcake making kits.
The show has actually made baking a billion pound industry in the U.K. Per the Telegraph, “between 2009 and 2014, annual baking sales rose from £523m to £1.7bn, according to figures from Mintel, largely because of the popularity of cooking shows.”
As Food & Wine reported back in May, the baking competition was also cited as a reason that England and the E.U. were seeing both a rise in home cooks and the resurgence of butter as a preferred replacement for processed options like margarine (leading to fears of a butter shortage, no less). Now that the show is just five days away from its premiere, it appears that eager viewers are flocking to kitchen supply stores to stock up on the tools they’ll need to follow along with the show’s challenges.
Meanwhile, devotees and casual fans alike won't likely be disappointed by the new season, despite speculation that the revamped version airing on Channel 4 wouldn’t live up to the show's BBC years. Critics are already praising this season's lineup of contestants and the dynamics brought by the new judges and hosts. Of course, the upcoming season of The Great British Bake Off won't premiere in America until next year, so U.S. fans have plenty of time to buy their cookie cutters and rolling pins in preparation.