This is the picture which proves that Easter has come early.
This shot of hot cross buns on sale next to mince pies below was taken at the Asda in Crawley in West Sussex by one of British Baker’s readers on 11 December – some 107 days ahead of Easter 2016.
Commenting on the snap, Mike Holling, executive director of the Craft Bakers’ Association, said: "This is a sad reflection of today’s marketing by the multiples. How can it be correct displaying Easter buns on the same shelf as mince pies before the New Year? It really devalues our bakery seasonal lines."
Sale: hot cross buns on sale before Christmas
Asda said: "As with mince pies we sell hot cross buns 52 weeks of the year. As you would expect, demand for hot cross buns peaks at Easter, but there is a year round offer which many of our customers enjoy - why limit yourself to the season!"
But it is not just UK bakers that are getting hot and cross about Easter starting early. This week the industry in Australia has been demonstrating about its retailers selling hot cross buns out of season.
More than a hundred bakers demonstrated on the steps on the State Library in Melbourne as part of a campaign which has been orchestrated by Ferguson Plarre Bakehouse’s chief executive Steve Plarre, who is calling on retailers Coles and Woolworths not to stock hot cross buns until six weeks before Easter.
He has galvanised the Australian industry leading to a demonstration by bakers and the public alike on Monday 21 December.
He told British Baker: ““It’s a real shame that we needed to take to the streets to be heard on this matter. Bakers across Australia agree that the supermarkets are stretching their promotions beyond what’s considered reasonable. This is about family values being honoured to keep Easter special.”
In support of the rally, some bakeries, including all Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses will opt to sell “Not Cross Buns” prior to Hot Cross Bun day, which this year is the 15th of February. Profits from these smiley face fruit buns will go to the Starlight Foundation to help grant wishes for sick children.
Demo: Australian bakers vent their feelings over early Easter sales