The price of flour, do you even notice when the price of bread goes up?
The price of flour, one you may not think of regular, but flour is a necessity to many people within the UK.
Flour goes into bread and you buy bread without even second guessing, placing in your basket without checking the price, therefore, will an increase in price of bread change consumer behaviour habits…
The price of flour and subsequently bread is set to rise (no pun intended!) after one of the worst UK wheat harvests in 40 years. This is due to the extreme weather over the last year which means wheat yields are down by up to 40%.
According to the national farmer union (NFU), farmers have been hit with a triple-whammy of severe, ever changing weather. During the autumn period, the UK saw unusual heavy rain fall which led to waterlogged soil, which is never good for planting. Then the UK was hit with not one but three storms, meaning February was the wettest on record. Finally, we had a very hot and dry spring which caused droughts in many areas of the UK. All in all, farmers have had a hard time to plant crops and keep the crops growing.
This means farmers can’t provide the UK with the volume we usually expect, according to the chair of the NFU’s crop board “we’re looking at a 30% reduction in our good fields, in some of our poor fields it looks like it could be more”.
Therefore, flour millers will have to make up for the shortages within the UK by importing wheat from other countries to help sustain the demand of bread. Also, a miller’s margins are very tight, meaning they have no choice but to pass on some of this to the consumers by raising prices.
Let us add another factor to the mix (again no pun intended!), Brexit. Wheat prices are always volatile, especially when tonnes of wheat are imported. If a tariff was added, then this would represent a further 40% increase in wheat prices and consequently hike up the price of flour.
Now for a bakery like us, flour is one of our main ingredients, without flour we do not have home-baked items, without this we have no sales.
But when it comes to something like this, we physically would not be able to sustain as a business if we did not pass some of the increase onto our customers. If you’re a smart cookie you probably already know that, because as a nation we wouldn’t miss out on a lovely tasting treat. We try to keep our price as low as possible while keeping the same exceptional quality, not just of the product but the service too.
However, we all love a muffin with a cup of tea, so are consumers really going to stop buying home-baked items, so let’s not get into a flap(jack) about it.
So, will a price increase of items which include flour really break the bank or is the price increase following the trend of all other items increasing?
Let us know your thoughts…