SUPERMARKET bread in London was again among the cheapest in the world, latest half-yearly figures from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) suggest.

The data, supplied exclusively to British Baker, shows a standard kilo of bread costs

58p in a supermarket in Lon-don. That makes London the 15th cheapest city for supermarket bread out of 119 cities where the EIU tracks prices for its “Cost of Living” survey.

The survey suggests supermarket bread in London is Europe’s cheapest, apart from bread bought for 44p in a supermarket in Budapest, Hungary. The “old” EU country closest in price to the UK is Luxembourg, the 44th cheapest city of the 119 tracked, where a kilo of supermarket bread costs £1.08. Tokyo, Japan, is the most expensive, with a loaf costing £3.05.

The data, gathered in the first week of September 2005, was published this week. It compares to data from March, published in July, which showed a price of 59p a kilo for supermarket bread in London. The figures also suggest the price of bread in more upmarket shops may also be falling. The price of a loaf from a top-end retailer in London (for example, a department store foodhall) was £1.57 this time round, compared with £1.60 in the last half year.

Survey editor and EIU chief analyst, food, beverages and tobacco Jon Copestake told British Baker: “People are spen-ding up on bread in the UK, which is causing the average price to rise. But in the supermarkets, we may even be seeing a downward trend on bread prices, as exchange rates are stable.”

The EIU sends 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 foodhall/niche retailer. The shoppers buy a standard loaf, of whatever the standard weight is in the country. In the UK, a white sliced 800g loaf is used. The weight is multiplied to work out the cost of a kilo of bread.