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Loaves for $1 to cost bakers

Green Garage Bakery shop assistant Kristy Ayala serves regular customer Rachael Shea, who says that while temped by the idea of $1 loaves of supermarket bread, she would keep buying locally.
Green Garage Bakery shop assistant Kristy Ayala serves regular customer Rachael Shea, who says that while temped by the idea of $1 loaves of supermarket bread, she would keep buying locally. Kate O’Neill

ONE-DOLLAR loaves of supermarket bread would save Rachael Shea more than $30 a week but the Suffolk Park mother-of-two says she'll stick with her local baker.

Although tempted by the offer of $1 bread, predicted to hit shelves at Coles and Woolworths soon, Ms Shea said taste, quality and buying local were more important to her.

“Bread adds up to a lot – we go through a loaf a day – so I could be paying $7 as opposed to $40.

“But I'm fussy about bread. I'd prefer to buy locally – and the sourdough here (at her Suffolk Park bakery) is really excellent.”

Bakeries around the region will be hoping Ms Shea's sentiment is echoed by their own customers as they prepare for the fallout from the predicted bread price war between the major supermarket chains.

Coles will reportedly cut the price of its home brand bread to $1, a week after slashing the price of milk to $1. Rivals Woolworths and Aldi are expected to follow suit.

Sean Crilley, manager of the Suffolk Park Green Garage Bakery, predicted a 10 to 15 per cent drop in his bread sales as a direct result of $1 loaves, but would not drop his prices to compete.

“I wouldn't do it, even if I could,” he said. “It (the $1 bread) is just going to bring down the value of bread. And like milk, it's going to hurt the farmers.”

Mr Crilley said he was confident the ‘superior product' at his bakery would keep customers coming back.

Manager of Kibbles of Casino, Bob Worling, agreed.

“Our bread is a completely different product to the supermarkets,” he said.

“The supermarkets sell soft bread. We sell fresh bread.

“There are no preservatives and it hasn't travelled hundreds of kilometres to get to the shelf. Our customers buy our bread for what it is.”

Mr Worling predicted consumers would pay for the price cuts in the long term.

“You cannot produce a loaf of bread for $1,” he said.

“Nobody can drop the price when the price of wheat has gone up $100 a tonne.

“Consumers will end up paying for it somewhere else.”

A spokesperson for Coles yesterday said he would not comment on something that had not yet happened. He said the cut to the price of milk last week had received a very positive response.


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