Warburtons has become the latest plant baker to increase prices on its bread, with Wales’ Brace’s Bakery saying it plans to follow suit. Warburtons blamed rising energy prices and other overheads for an increase across its range, including around 5p to 6p on an 800g loaf. For example, its 800g wholemeal medium sliced bread is now 97p in all the major multiples, up from 91p on February 22. Its white sliced bread is up from 92p to 97p and its 400g sliced milk roll is up from 61p to 67p, as of April 5.

Brace’s Bakery is also planning to put up the price of its bread, operations director Jonathan Brace told British Baker. It wants to add 1p on the price of a small loaf, and 3p on a large loaf (from the current 76p). Mr Brace said: “We have seen a 55% increase in electricity costs and a 70% increase in gas, as well as rises in other overheads, such as diesel. We have to make sure the business stays viable.”

The price of polythene bags has risen by 5% over the last year, due to increased oil costs, and Brace’s is about to put through a 3% wage increase, he added.

The price increases follow a tranche of price rises earlier in the year – of as much as 13% on branded and own-label loaves (British Baker, February 24, pg 3). Plant bakers British Bake-ries and Allied Bakeries both increased the price on branded loaves by up to 10p each, and the price of own-label bread also went up by between 3p and 7p a loaf. This round of increases was also blamed on increased costs.

British Bakeries has since made further price increases. For example, Hovis Country Grain Wholemeal is now £1.20 in the multiples, up from 99p at the end of February.