In the middle of the Epiphany period, the price of the essential galette des rois increases in bakeries. A consequence of the 30% inflation in the cost of butter, a major ingredient in the traditional dessert.
Notice to foodies. You will surely be surprised by going to your baker to buy your galette des rois as we celebrated Epiphany this Thursday, January 6th. At the Pimousse bakery in Dijon (Côte-d’Or), the price of the galette des rois has increased by 10 cents. In 2021, the cost was 3.10 euros while this year, you have to pay 3.20 euros to taste a slice of galette des rois. A slight increase caused by the rise in the price of butter.
“It’s hard to explain the increase to our customers but most understand it well” explains David Noguiera, the manager of the Pimousse bakery. Despite the 30% rise in purchase prices, the manager will continue to use butter in the preparation of his brioches and croissants.
“I’m not going to use margarine. It would be ridiculous. I love my job and I can’t serve that to our customers. It’s against our values. And even in relation to our apprentices, we can’t learn that”.
Why is the price of butter rising?
In recent years, there have been fewer and fewer dairy cows in France. 3,654 in 2020, compared to 3,712 in 2019 according to the National Confederation of Livestock Farms. As a logical consequence, stocks of milk, a major component of butter, are falling. And while production is decreasing, demand, especially from China, is increasing.
Milk suppliers also tend to sell their reserves more easily to cream or cheese producers, who happen to be more profitable on the market. Result: to compensate for the rise in the cost of butter, bakers have no choice but to display the galette des rois at higher prices.
But according to Laurent Blancher, of the bakery Aux Délices de la Chouette, butter is not the only product whose cost is increasing. This Dijon baker says he has suffered price inflation for several ingredients for 3 years.
“We talk about butter, but it’s all the raw materials that have increased. Especially those that we don’t use a lot such as flavorings, fruits or fruit purées that we use to make our ice cream. double”.
A rise that does not disrupt wages
At the same time, the wage bill in bakeries is experiencing a significant increase of 8% according to Nadine Grunenwald, president of the Regional Federation of Bakery and Bakery-Pastry of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté.
“Salaries are revised upwards to keep staff in companies rather than seeing them go to other professions” constate Nadine Grunenwald.
The various bakers’ federations have asked the government to “urgently bring together all the actors in the sector (farmers, dairymen, craftsmen, industrialists and distribution) in order to secure supplies and agree on common measures to guarantee a suitable price for consumers and allow our members to live decently their work”.