KARACHI: While already reeling under record-high food inflation, consumers are now bracing for another shock as they will be paying an average 10 per cent more for branded breakfast items from Sunday.
Breadmakers have again raised the prices of various bakery items citing surging rates of raw materials, utility bills and transportation/distribution costs.
After pushing up prices by 16-17pc in June 2022, the manufacturers again jacked up the prices of their products by an average 19pc in September 2022 and with the latest third hike of 10pc consumers have to brave an overall 46pc spike in less than a year.
A four-member family, which was earlier spending Rs728 every month for procuring two packs of small bread (Rs91 each) in June 2022, will now have to spend Rs960 (Rs120) for the same.
Karachi Bread Association General Secretary Haroon Iqbal Sheikh told Dawn that the price of super fine flour (maida), which holds 65-68pc share in the manufacturing of bread and other bakery items, surged to Rs7,000 per 50kg bag from Rs5,700 in September 2022.
The price of plastic shopping bags, usually known as PE (polyethylene), has risen to Rs1,100 per kg from Rs800. The wholesale price of ghee and cooking oil has doubled to Rs560-600 per litre/kg, he added.
After this fresh increase, the retail rates of large, medium, small and mini plain packs of bread would be Rs220, Rs160, Rs120 and Rs80 as compared to Rs200, Rs150, Rs110 and Rs70, respectively.
While milky bread medium, small and mini would be available at Rs161, Rs121 and Rs81 as against Rs151, Rs111 and Rs71. Bran bread price has been raised to Rs160 from Rs150.
The new rates of burger roll, cut burger and special burger are Rs40, Rs100 and Rs125 versus Rs35, Rs100 and Rs110, respectively.
“Truly speaking, sales have plunged by at least 35pc in the last two years due to consumers’ shrinking buying power,” he said.
When asked if new players entered the market, he said the number of manufacturing units had been hovering at 18-21 units for the last decades.
For many people, it is now hard to afford breakfast. As per data of the Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) ending May 26, the price of a small pack of Lipton tea (less than 200 grams) is now tagged at Rs558 as compared to Rs260 in the third week of May last year. Loose milk is sold at Rs200-210 per litre as against Rs140-150 a litre.
Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2023