By Daniel Hunter

British retailers are being urged to prepare for what is being called 'The Great British Bake Off effect'.

The nation's favourite baking programme, watched by nearly 14 million people last year, is back on our screens on Wednesday.

According to Mintel research, around 12% of viewers are inspired to buy the kitchen homewares spotted on the kitted out benches of the 'Bake Off' tent.

That means more than 1.5 million people will be heading to stores in a Great British Bake Off-inspired frenzy of baking purchases.

Despite a falling number of people who say they bake in 2013 and 2014, Mintel said "there are many opportunities for brands to engage with fans of the show". Retail sales in the home baking market grew by 27% to £1.8 billion between 2009 and 2013.

Mintel said: "As a result [of the popularity of The Great British Bake Off], there are countless opportunities for cake and baking companies to tap into the popularity of these shows, not just in terms of the edible end result, but the equipment needed to make them."

Daniel Todaro, managing director at field marketing agency Gekko, said: "With every workstation modelling the latest must-have kitchen appliances and gadgets, retailers need to be well-prepared for the British ‘bake-off effect’ to meet peak season demand.

“With an ever increasing ‘I want it now’ culture customers will expect to walk into a store and get their latest baking must-have straight away. To meet expectations, it’s not just about preparing and managing stock levels in-store, but enhancing the customer journey as a whole. If sales staff are unfamiliar with the show’s latest product range, how to sell these items or they’re out of sync with the latest promotions, then they’re missing a trick which will affect sales.

“Essentially, the customer journey needs to extend from TV to the shop floor. It all lies in the marketing execution, from merchandising and staff training to being on point with in-store deals to help customers make that final purchase decision.”