It is the French symbol par excellence, the pride of our gastronomic heritage, copied many times over, never equalled: the sacrosanct baguette. For a long time, its price was an essential indicator of the cost of living… Until creating revolutions.
However, in recent years, assures us Dominique Anract, president of the National Confederation of French Bakery and Pastry, “the baguette has only taken 25 cents in 20 years”.
Its price is not regulated: depending on whether you buy it in a supermarket, in an artisanal bakery, in Paris or in the provinces, it can vary from simple to triple. In general, however, it revolves around one euro… To which have recently been added a few wheelbarrows, an inevitable consequence of the raw materials crisis.
However, on a European scale, the bakers of France are those who have least raised the price of the precious sesame.
“It is a symbolic product, which must remain accessible, and whose increase people find difficult to accept”, notes Dominique Anract.
But artisan bakers are finding it increasingly difficult to balance their books. “Flour has increased by 30%, yeast, by 70%, butter and eggs, by 20% to 50%… So it gets stuck; especially as new increases in the cost of energy are coming”, warns the professional.
For him, the rise in the price of the baguette in 2023 is therefore inevitable. “The bakers were taking on their margins so far. But now, it’s getting difficult. We have to accept the increase, which will only be a few cents anyway, to support them. Today, bread is not expensive enough to allow some bakeries to avoid bankruptcy,” he said.
What to expect for the new baguette price? According to Dominique Anract, it all depends on the establishment; “Some bakers have advantageous contracts that are still running with their supplier, so the increase will be moderate, but for others, the electricity bill will be multiplied by four: we can therefore expect a 20% increase. on all products.
Professionals also regret that their businesses are excluded, in fact, from the government shield which caps the increase in the cost of electricity at 4% for SMEs.
“We are not eligible, because the maximum power retained is 36 Kva, but bakery ovens consume more”, explains Dominique Anract.
In return, bakeries will be able to benefit from another device: the electricity buffer, a flat-rate aid on 25% of consumption. “But that will not reduce all the costs,” adds the President of the Confederation.
Could this new inflation in the price of bread cause popular uproar?
For Dominique Anract, the French are able to understand it. “People will understand, otherwise their bakery will close. This gesture is not to fill their pockets. Wages, raw materials, expenses including electricity… face,” he added.