Back in December 2015 the price of a 250g block of unsalted butter was 85p.
By October 2016 the same block of 250g had risen to £1.10
Today, October 2017 the price stands at £1.60 for 250g. That’s over a 50% increase in less than two years.
Similarly to butter, since November 2015, 100g basics milk chocolate has increased from 35p to 50p.
As a baker, the price of ingredients has to be reflected in the price of cakes. But what do you do when a staple ingredient has doubled in price? I have already this week seen two bakers I know post on their Facebook pages saying there will be an increase in their prices to reflect the rising cost of baking and fortunately their customers have all taken it well.
The increase in butter is due to a supply issue where there isn’t enough milk production to keep up with the demand for butter and cream. Because many dairy farmers have gone out of business in recent years, cream supplies are down.
So what does this mean for bakers?
No one is sure what will happen to the price of butter, wether it will continue to increase or eventually fall once production levels have been met. My advice is to re-asses your pricing structure (you can read more about that here) to make sure the increase in butter is included in your figures, buy when it’s on offer (and buy a lot if your fridge can handle it!) and to shop around. I have read updates from fellow bakers finding butter bargains in shops like Aldi and Lidl as well as offers in independent stores.
The price increases may not sound a lot, especially if you’re only making one or two cakes a month, but for those who are baking 5 or 6 cakes (or more) a week, it has really impacted their business. I hope there is a resolution soon and this isn’t a taste of what’s to come for other ingredients.
Has the increase in butter price affected you? Share your comments below.