For years, supermarkets have thrown out hot cross buns long before Easter, and as the yeast treats roll in, so does the pro or anti-bun outrage.
“No break between vacations!” My mother texts me on January 3, after seeing whitish crosses on New Years Day. “Buy, buy, buy pure consumerism in your face!” She insists she’s only slightly annoyed by the baked good’s long shelf life, but similar sentiments spread across social media and the mainstream, like melted butter.
“We don’t even have the 12 days of Christmas now. It’s Christmas Day and then the 90 days of Easter, ”says a tweet. Another emoticon: “F @ # $ sake #Coles supermarket! It’s only been 2 days since Chrissie, give her a fucking break !! “
Historically, hot cross buns were only eaten on Good Friday and occasionally at Christmas or funerals. In fact in 1592, Queen Elizabeth I officially decreed it, and any buns made illegally outside of those events were handed over to the poor. But growing demand in recent years has fueled sales of hot cross buns. In 2020, Coles launched their full range of hot cross buns nationwide on Boxing Day, while Woolworths arrived on December 30, a three-day advance date compared to the January 2, 2020 release.
“The first sales of hot cross buns last year tell us that there is a very strong demand to see the Easter treat on the shelves as soon as possible,” says Coles head of bakery operations Shaun Percy. Coles sold more than 66 million between its launch on Boxing Day 2019 and Easter 2020, including 1.6 million in the first five days and nearly 12 million in the week ending Easter Monday.
In 2014, Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses CEO Steve Plarre wrote an open letter to the CEOs of Coles and Woolworths, imploring them to delay the sale of hot cross buns, suggesting that they sell the same buns with a smiley face instead of a cross to preserve the significance of the holiday.
“As I sit watching my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter enjoy what Santa brought her this year, I can’t help but fear that on our next trip to the shops Christmas will fade too quickly with her being subjected to an onslaught of bunnies Easter Eggs and Hot Cross Buns “.
But in fact, some Coles stores have been selling the traditional flavor all year long since August 2019.
“Coles stores are still able to offer buns year-round, however the range is limited to a small number of the most popular varieties and in the run-up to Christmas many of our bakeries stop making buns in order to focus. in providing customers with other products. Once Christmas is over they can go back to producing scones and in a wider variety of flavors than at other times of the year, ”a Coles spokesperson told Guardian Australia.
Huw Murdoch, owner of Wild Life Bakery in Brunswick East, Melbourne, believes that seasonality drives his sales. “People are always eager to start buying them, and they are always a bit sad to see them go, but nobody asks during the year if we have something similar,” he says.
Like many small local bakeries, Wild Life only offers them during the Easter period, starting about a month before the holidays.
“It’s the busiest time of year for us and bakers get a little tired because they have to earn thousands,” says Murdoch. “On a busy weekend day, we could make a couple hundred croissants and a couple hundred loaves of bread. Good Friday We had sold 1,500 hot rolls before opening the door. “
With Woolworths forecasting 77 million hot bun sales In 2021, we may be stuck in the post-Christmas bun cycle (and cross-hot comments) in the future.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism