Boulangeries around France have begun putting up signs warning their customers of an increase in the price of their favourite bread due to rising costs.
A terrible harvest in Russia and Ukraine, which produce a large portion of the world’s wheat, has pushed up prices while French boulangeries are also affected by the rise in gas prices.
As a result, many bakers have told French media they have been forced to increase the price of a baguette, usually by around 10 cents, while others have kept baguette prices low but increased the costs of their other breads to cover their own costs.
According to Dominique Anract, president of the Confédération nationale de la boulangerie-pâtisserie française, the average price of a baguette today is 89c, a price that has risen just 23c in the last 20 years.
The majority of boulangeries still offer baguettes for €1 or less, while many also offer a ‘tradition’ – a baguette baked to the traditional recipe of just four ingredients – for around 10c more than the price of a standard baguette.
Anract said: “The world price of wheat has risen. Almost all millers have passed on this increase in the price of flour since the end of the summer. And for the last bakers who still benefit from set rates, the contracts will be reviewed at the end of the year.”
To say baguettes are popular in France is a wild understatement – the French eat 10 billion of them per year, or one every 320 seconds.
Pretty much every meal in a French restaurant or café comes with an accompanying basket of sliced baguette (even pizza) and munching the top off a still-warm baguette is pretty much the only socially acceptable street snack in France.
The French culture ministry has even submitted an application to UNESCO to give the baguette world heritage status, a decision is expected next year.