Sign of the times for bakery
Published:  10 April, 2009

Most craft bakers' bread and cakes prices have risen in the last 12 months, although some branded products are even cheaper than a year ago, according to British Baker's Shopping Basket.

In the year since our food and drink comparison began recording prices around the country, a large white loaf is up 18p to £1.40 on average, a large granary loaf is up 10p to £1.48, and a jam doughnut now costs 53.8p, up nearly 4p.

However, Walkers Crisps in craft shops are selling for 41.2p, down from 45p this time last year. Interestingly, customers at the main coffee shop chains have seen fewer changes on their bill. Hot drinks prices remain virtually unchanged, the only difference being that the cheapest coffee shop chain - Caffè Nero - has increased prices to bring them more in line with its competitors. So its regular tea is 5p more than it was 12 months ago (the same as Starbucks) and Coffee Republic has also increased the price of its tea from £1.30 to £1.59.

Similarly, Caffè Nero's regular latte and cappuccino are another 10p each, while the other chain's coffee prices haven't moved, although Starbucks seemed to have a small promotion on its latte last summer, down from £2.40 to £2.05.

Coffee shop comparison

There have been no real surprises with coffee shop food either: Caffè Nero charges 15p more for a cheese panini (up to £3.40), while there is no change in the price of chocolate chip cookies, and blueberry muffins cost the same, except that diners at Coffee Republic are paying 5p less (down to £1.65).

A slice of chocolate cake will set you back the same amount as it did last April in Caffè Nero (£2.25) and Costa Coffee (£2.35) although at the end of last year, this had dipped to £1.80 at Starbucks and gone up to £2.50 in Coffee Republic.

Supermarket parity

With rising wheat costs, it's no surprise that plant bread prices have risen at the supermarkets over the last year, but it's interesting to see that prices are now similar across the major retailers; an 800g Warburtons Toastie sold from anywhere between 70p (Asda) to £1.16 (Morrisons) last April, but it was £1.29 across the board in February this year.

There is also more parity across retailers with other products - for example, Soreen Fruity Malt Loaf started out at between 56p and 88p, but a few months later was 62p in all stores.

Meanwhile, supermarket crisps fans are paying anything up to 13p more than they were this time last year for a packet of Walkers; Sainsbury's is charging 43p (up from 30p) while at Asda it's 40p rather than 32p. However, a 500ml bottle of Coke to wash them down with now costs less; it's up to 5p cheaper now (down from 97p at Waitrose) and typically 1p or 2p less.

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=== Supermarket price comparisons ===

Walkers Crisps (packet - 40g) Warburtons Toastie (800g)*

Feb '09 April '08 Feb '09 April '08

Sainsbury's 43p 30p £1.29 £1.11

Tesco 40p 32p £1.29 £1.11

Waitrose/Ocado 40p 36p n/a £1.11

Morrisons 40p 35p £1.29 £1.16

Asda 40p 32p £1.29 70p

* bread prices may be affected by seasonal promotions

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=== Craft bakery price comparison* ===

Feb '09 April '08

Large White Loaf £1.40 £1.22

Large Granary Loaf £1.48 £1.38

Jam Doughnut 53.8p 50p

Walkers Crisps 41.2p 45p

* mean prices based on BB's price check over the last 12 month

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=== Coffee shop comparison ===

Eat-in prices Regular tea - Nov '08 Regular tea - May '08

Costa Coffee £1.60 £1.60

Coffee Republic £1.59 £1.30

Starbucks £1.55 £1.55

Caffè Nero £1.55 £1.50




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