Morrisons could be rebranding its traditional Easter hot cross buns, following the government’s proposed 20% VAT on hot food products.

The UK supermarket chain has hit out at the government’s decision to tax products such as pies and pasties, which are served warm above an ambient temperature.

However, Morrisons has challenged the government as to whether the Easter baked treat should be renamed ‘cold cross buns’. The firm, in addition to craft bakers UK-wide, are unsure whether the government will class this as a bread product, which will be exempt from the VAT.

Speaking prior to the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, Guy Mason, head of corporate affairs at Morrisons, said: “We really hope the government sees sense and does not force us to charge VAT on our hot cross buns. Our in-store bakers are all set to meet consumer demand for the iconic Easter treats and our customers love the fact that they can pick them off our shelves shortly after they come out of the oven. 

“Due to the changes that the government is proposing, we might have to rename them ‘cold cross buns’ next Easter.”

The company said last Thursday (5 April) it was expecting to make and sell more than 900,000 of its ‘spiced buns’ throughout its in-store bakeries for the Easter weekend, and six million in total for the week ahead.


You can join our joint campaign with the National Association of Master Bakers, called Say NO to the 20% pie tax, opposing the government’s decision to place VAT on hot products by:

Liking the Facebook page: Say NO to the 20% Pie Tax

Joining the debate on Twitter: @BritishBaker and hashtag #NOpietax

Signing the e-petition: