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The nation is facing a shortage of hot cross buns this year. There is a simple solution to this. We should all eat fewer of them. Something that the market system will ensure as it happens, the lack of sultanas, raisins and currants (there is apparently a difference between these, not one we know) means their price is higher. Thus bakers are charging us more for the Easter comestibles containing them – higher prices mean we’ll buy fewer. Good, job solved and no task forces, regulations or intervention required.

You know, markets do in fact work. How excellent that we use markets then:

EASTER shoppers may not be happy bunnies this year as the price of traditional Hot Cross Buns are likely to rise in the near future.

The cost of the tasty Easter tea-time treat is set to rocket as the cost of dried fruits – such as raisins, sultanas and currants – is set to soar.

The solution is already baked into the system and nothing more need to be done.

Bakeries are facing higher costs for the dried fruits due to the crop shortages – US raisin prices have risen by 50 per cent since September.

Farmers have been producing fewer and fewer sultanas, currants and raisins and focusing on other crops due to low profits over the past few years.

But the situation has reportedly been exacerbated by a heatwave.

No, this is not something that can be solved by the usual Caroline Lucas bleating, that we should make more at home. The British climate doesn’t produce the three, derived as they are from grapes and dry weather. As Adam Smith pointed out we can manage grapes even in Scotland but dry weather is in short supply on our isles. We can also use this as an argument against locally produced food – that we get to celebrate a bloke being nailed to a cross through the glories of international trade. Something which gives us a clue as to what a useful cure for this ailment is.

The hot cross bun is, traditionally, for Good Friday only. Instead of the rolling season of months either side of it that we’re used to in this modern cornucopia. So, let us be traditionalist about it, only eat the buns on the day of the buns. Yes, of course, it’s obviously better that we be able to eat as we wish when we do so but hard times make for hard choices. Teacakes until March 29, hot cross buns the next day and we’re done, aren’t we?

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So Much For Subtlety
Guest
So Much For Subtlety

It might be a good idea to not advertise them until after January 1 but horses for courses. Will we eat fewer of them? I guess it depends on the costs of the dried grapes to the buns as a whole. I would have thought it was tiny compared to the labour, the distribution and the retailing. In which case we would hardly change. So I am sure they will figure something else out. In the meantime worrying about the currants seems interesting but aside from the main event. We do grow grapes in the UK and we could get… Read more »

KevinS
Guest
KevinS

It seems that nobody thought to tell ASDA about this, they are selling them at £1 for a dozen – the same as last year if I recall.

MC
Guest
MC

A quick calculation based on online recipe and supermarket research suggests a dried fruit cost of 2p per hot cross bun for the home baker. One must assume lower costs for a commercial enterprise. So it’s not really going to make that much difference.

Sainsbury’s cheapest hot cross buns are 60p for a pack of 4. Presumably with the dried fruit crisis costs built in.

Not really a story… But it has made me rather fancy a hot cross bun, which I suppose is the point.

Bloke in North Dorset
Member

Has anybody counted or weighed the dried fruit in this year’s offering and compared to last year’s? Quite often the response of food manufacturers to the increase in some inputs is to use fewer and if possible use substitution rather than put up prices. As a last resort they may even make slightly smaller buns to maintain the same price.

polidorisghost
Guest
polidorisghost

Eat ’em at Easter.
Well that’s my solution and it doesn’t even require a degree in microeconomis.

polidorisghost
Guest
polidorisghost

“It seems that nobody thought to tell ASDA about this, they are selling them at £1 for a dozen – the same as last year if I recall.”
Check the sell buy date.

polidorisghost
Guest
polidorisghost

Tim
Can we not have an edit button?

PF
Guest
PF

Particularly a “preview” button – the same as you have on the other site?

testing html

PF
Guest
PF

That’s weird, I didn’t put in “larger blue and italics”, simply a blockquote… It explains all Tim’s quotes in his articles!

View from the Solent
Guest
View from the Solent

Teacakes? Bland. I enjoy eating those spiced buns all year round. Courtesy of Sainsbury’s.

So Much For Subtlety
Guest
So Much For Subtlety

It might be a good idea to not advertise them until after January 1 but horses for courses. Will we eat fewer of them? I guess it depends on the costs of the dried grapes to the buns as a whole. I would have thought it was tiny compared to the labour, the distribution and the retailing. In which case we would hardly change. So I am sure they will figure something else out. In the meantime worrying about the currants seems interesting but aside from the main event. We do grow grapes in the UK and we could get… Read more »

KevinS
Guest
KevinS

It seems that nobody thought to tell ASDA about this, they are selling them at £1 for a dozen – the same as last year if I recall.

MC
Guest
MC

A quick calculation based on online recipe and supermarket research suggests a dried fruit cost of 2p per hot cross bun for the home baker. One must assume lower costs for a commercial enterprise. So it’s not really going to make that much difference.

Sainsbury’s cheapest hot cross buns are 60p for a pack of 4. Presumably with the dried fruit crisis costs built in.

Not really a story… But it has made me rather fancy a hot cross bun, which I suppose is the point.

Bloke in North Dorset
Member

Has anybody counted or weighed the dried fruit in this year’s offering and compared to last year’s? Quite often the response of food manufacturers to the increase in some inputs is to use fewer and if possible use substitution rather than put up prices. As a last resort they may even make slightly smaller buns to maintain the same price.

Bernie G.
Member
Bernie G.

Attending a Valentine’s Day supper a week or two back I munched my way through 18 buckwheat pancakes. Am currently in training for Good Friday.

polidorisghost
Guest
polidorisghost

Eat ’em at Easter.
Well that’s my solution and it doesn’t even require a degree in microeconomis.

polidorisghost
Guest
polidorisghost

“It seems that nobody thought to tell ASDA about this, they are selling them at £1 for a dozen – the same as last year if I recall.”
Check the sell buy date.

polidorisghost
Guest
polidorisghost

Tim
Can we not have an edit button?

PF
Guest
PF

Particularly a “preview” button – the same as you have on the other site?

testing html

PF
Guest
PF

That’s weird, I didn’t put in “larger blue and italics”, simply a blockquote… It explains all Tim’s quotes in his articles!

View from the Solent
Guest
View from the Solent

Teacakes? Bland. I enjoy eating those spiced buns all year round. Courtesy of Sainsbury’s.

Bernie G.
Member
Bernie G.

Attending a Valentine’s Day supper a week or two back I munched my way through 18 buckwheat pancakes. Am currently in training for Good Friday.

Hallowed Be
Member
Hallowed Be

MC – “A quick calculation based on online recipe and supermarket research suggests a dried fruit cost of 2p per hot cross bun for the home baker.” yes overheard at the local playground that the buns themselves have only gone from one a penny to two a penny. OK 100% increase but still good value.

Hallowed Be
Member
Hallowed Be

MC – “A quick calculation based on online recipe and supermarket research suggests a dried fruit cost of 2p per hot cross bun for the home baker.” yes overheard at the local playground that the buns themselves have only gone from one a penny to two a penny. OK 100% increase but still good value.

BenS
Guest
BenS

Put chocolate chips in them instead. I’m sure all the raisin-haters will be overjoyed.

BenS
Guest
BenS

Put chocolate chips in them instead. I’m sure all the raisin-haters will be overjoyed.

John B
Member
John B

‘…sultanas, raisins and currants (there is apparently a difference between these, not one we know…’

Sultanas and raisins are two varieties of white grapes…. thus vine-grown. The one used for raisins darkens when dried, the one used for sultanas stays a pale golden colour when dried and is sweeter than raisins.

Currents are not dried grapes, but a dried berry… thus grown on a bush.

John B
Member
John B

‘…sultanas, raisins and currants (there is apparently a difference between these, not one we know…’

Sultanas and raisins are two varieties of white grapes…. thus vine-grown. The one used for raisins darkens when dried, the one used for sultanas stays a pale golden colour when dried and is sweeter than raisins.

Currents are not dried grapes, but a dried berry… thus grown on a bush.