In Australia the two major supermarkets have been fighting a price war to increase their share of your shopping dollars.
Milk, bread, meat and booze are just some of the items that are being fought over, and possibly right now you – the shopper are finding it beneficial in your back pocket!
But what about the businesses who sell to the big stores? Are they worse or better off because of this war?
Just this week we have received notification that the suppliers who bring daily fresh bread into the supermarkets are really feeling the pinch!
Food Magazine’s Jessica Burke has reported that Australia’s largest break maker Goodman Fielder is considering abolishing daily bread deliveries to cut costs made headlines this week, amid increasing talk about supermarket dominance of private-label products and damage it will cause to the Australian manufacturing industry.
A Goodman Fielder spokesman, Ian Greenshields, said in Europe and North America the model was for bread to have a 10-day shelf life.
The company was exploring ways of extending the shelf life of bread in Australia using natural ingredients and packaging innovation. Preservatives would not be used, he said.
Whatever happened to ‘give us this day our daily bread’?
I don’t know about you because I personally get my bread from an Island Bakery in Tasmania that will bake fresh – for me – gluten-free bread. I simply call them a couple of days before I intend going there, and order a minimum of six gluten free loaves, which they bake and hold for me until I go collect them.
What is perplexing me about selling 6 – 8 – 10 day old bread is the question of mould etc. Actually not only mould, but the amount of preservatives they may have to use, even if they currently say that will not be affected. The wrappers used may have to be changed in some way to ensure freshness that will last for a shelf life of that duration. Whatever changes they will have to make will surely not be of health benefit to the consumer.
Then there is the question of how the bread will be stored. If it is not going to be delivered fresh each day to the supermarkets, then the stores will have to have facilities which ensure the freshness of the product.
One thing is for certain in all of this – the consumer will not be better off! Coles and Woolworth’s might be enjoying these war games, but in the long run neither the consumer nor the Bread Makers will come out on top. Follow the dollar $$$$ right back to the shareholders pockets!
Right now if you must buy your daily bread, I would suggest you patronise the local bakeries in your shopping centres. There are bakeries who guarantee their bread contains no preservatives. This will send a clear message to both the Bread Producers and the supermarkets, that YOU, the consumer are far from happy! Throw a spanner in their works and see how they like it!