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The average prices of 800g sliced white and wholemeal loaves have continued to fall, according to Office of National Statistics (ONS) Retail Price Index figures.

As revealed by British Baker previously, in May wrapped bread prices fell to their lowest since November 2022, with shoppers paying an average of £1.37 for a loaf of wrapped white bread and £1.39 for a wrapped wholemeal loaf.

These declines followed a year of almost uninterrupted price hikes that had been driven by increases in inputs including ingredients, energy, and packaging.

ONS data for June shows the declines have continued, with the average price of a white loaf down by a penny to £1.36. The last time the price was that low was in November last year.

The average price of a wholemeal loaf has also fallen by a penny, to £1.38, but remains 9p higher than it was in November 2022.

Recent reductions in the price of many own-label loaves may have contributed to these declines, with Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Aldi reducing standard white and wholemeal sliced loaves to 75p. Some retailers have said the price drops was the result of a fall in costs, but there are concerns ingredient costs will rise again.

The collapse of the Black Sea grain deal last month has pushed up global food commodity prices, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. There are also worries about the impact wet weather will have on the quality and harvesting of some European wheat crops, while dry weather threatens crops in Canada.

”Canada, Germany and, to a lesser extent France, are key sources of wheat for the UK,” reported senior AHDB cereals & oilseeds analyst Helen Plant last week. ”Germany and Canada often supply high-protein bread wheat for blending with UK crops. Germany, France, and Canada accounted for 69% of UK imports last season (July 2022 to May 2023).”

Meanwhile, the cost of an unwrapped loaf has risen once again, according to the ONS data. 

The average price of an unwrapped 800g white loaf was £1.58 in June, up 2p on the previous month. This is an increase of almost 19% year-on-year as the average price was £1.33 in June 2022.

British Baker has previously revealed that the cost-of-living crisis had fuelled a resurgence in demand for white sliced bread.