After we broke the news last week of another impending rise in the price of flour many of you have remarked that both British and Canadian wheat harvests were very good, therefore it is hard to believe that other factors would have such an adverse effect on prices.
So this week Alex Waugh, director of the National Association of British and Irish Millers, explains precisely why those other factors, ’world events’, are having such a dramatic impact (pg 18). The graphs summarise the situation and show why bread prices simply must rise as a result.
There is no way plant bakers, craft bakers or biscuit-makers can swallow the price rises. That is why it is so vital to continue communicating the reasons for the rise through the national media.
Every single craft customer and supermarket shopper should know why they have to pay more - again. We have seen in the past that consumers accept a repeat increase on coffee and fuel. This time it is the turn of bread.
Elsewhere we report on how Britain’s three biggest high street bakery retailers are having to re-jig their offering or remodel their business plans. Why? Because high street trading conditions demand it (pgs 14, 15). Lyndale and Three Cooks have taken a hard look at their trading plans and shops, while Greggs, though still seeing improved profits, has seen margins drop. Hot summers can wreak havoc on hot takeaway but coffee shops and sandwich chains such as Amano and FooGo continue to proliferate (pgs 4,5).
Pasty outlets are popping up everywhere too (pg 25). In just three years, sales of pasties, as a percentage of total pastry snacks, have risen from 21.6% to 28.1%. London, not Cornwall, is where most of the pasty outlets are based, but Proper Cornish’s account manager says optimistically: "There are still lots of places in Britain that don’t have them."
Pasties are a very traditional Cornish product and, like the Melton Mowbray pork pie, are guarding their origins carefully. Tradition with a modern twist is a great seller, just look at the design of up-to-date pasty outlets. But tradition alone is not good enough - a point firmly made by our Friday essayist this week (pg 13). Do you agree?