Dearer croissants as butter price soars

Boulangeries feeling pinch with rising demand and falling supplies

7 September 2017
By Connexion journalist

Rising costs for butter – prices have risen 172% in 20 months – mean prices for croissants and other viennoiseries in some boulangeries have risen by a few centimes to compensate.

The Fédération des Entreprises de la Boulangerie said the bulk price for butter had risen from €2,500/tonne in April 2016 to €4,500/tonne at the start of this month and boulangeries were only reflecting this in their prices, which were up by about 10 centimes.

The federation said viennoiseries such as croissants were more than 25% butter and it was the key ingredient in the vast majority of recipes for boulangerie, patisserie and biscuit products.

Supermarkets, too, had been hit by the rising costs but their boulangerie products were so far not affected, although prices for butter packs had risen about 7%.

Costs have been forced up by rising demand and a shortage of butter in France, with industry experts pointing to recent US research discounting previous fears about cholesterol and a move away from palm oil in some recipes.

Since the end of European milk quotas in 2015 some producers have quit the sector meaning that milk production is down 4% in France. What is more, some dairy companies have preferred to produce higher-profit cheese.

Peder Tuborgh, head of dairy giant Arla Foods, said there was a butter shortage across the world after very low prices last year – and he thought it would be impossible to meet demand until Christmas.

Dairy companies have also had to increase prices paid to dairy farmers – up 18% from last September to about 36-38centimes/litre.

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