Supermarket bread on sale in London is cheaper than bread on sale in Cairo, Bangkok, Beijing and even Manchester, latest figures from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) reveal.
The data, supplied exclusively to British Baker, shows a standard kilo of bread cost 61p in a London supermarket.
That meant London’s supermarkets ranked 114th on bread prices out of the 130 cities the EIU tracks in its Cost of Living survey.
A kilo of bread sold in a Manchester supermarket, the other UK city in the survey, came in at 69p.
The data was gathered in September 2006 when the EIU sent shoppers to buy bread in three different types of retailer: a cheap outlet (a supermarket), a mid-priced outlet (for example Marks & Spencer) and an upmarket food hall or niche retailer, for example Selfridges food hall in London.
The EIU’s data suggests London supermarkets are the cheapest in the EU for bread apart from Budapest (Hungary) and Sofia (Bulgaria), where a kilo of supermarket bread cost 35p and 38p respectively.
The ’old’ EU countries closest in price to London are Dublin (number 77), where a kilo of bread costs 92p and Copenhagen, Denmark, (number 74), where a kilo costs £1.01.
However, while London supermarket bread was comparatively cheap, bread on sale in its higher end retailers was less so at £1.64 a kilo. In this category London was ranked the 66th most expensive in the world.
Based on average prices, London ranked 81st in the world and Manchester 103rd - due to London’s more expensive top-end bread.
For the survey, mystery shoppers bought a standard loaf of whatever the standard weight is in a country. In the UK, a white sliced 800g loaf was used. The weight is multiplied to work out the cost of 1kg of bread.
Food and drink analyst and survey editor Jon Copestake commented: "Clearly, supermarket-bought bread in the UK is a different quality to some of the commonly eaten breads in other countries. And there are also economies of scale - in the UK a typical loaf is 800g, while in Northern Europe it may be 400g." Exchange rate fluctuations also had an impact on the comparative costings.
See next week’s British Baker for the full list.