Aussie bakeries buck the cost-of-living crunch

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Bakeries across Australia are bucking the cost-of-living crunch with consumers spending 8 per cent more at their local bread and pastry shops compared with last year, data from one of the big four banks has revealed.

According to numbers provided by Westpac from their DataX program, Aussies spent 8 per cent more with bakeries in January and February compared with the same period last year.

Despite consumers being crunched by rising rents, mortgages and supermarket costs, Westpac’s managing director of business lending Shane Howell said it made sense that people were looking to splurge on relatively inexpensive items.

“It’s one of life’s little luxuries and treating yourself with a pie or a pastry feels good while remaining relatively inexpensive compared to a restaurant meal,” he said.

“While inflation is contributing to the overall 8 per cent increase in bakery spend, our data shows there has been an increase in consumption across other metrics too.”

According to Westpac’s data, the number of shoppers visiting bakeries was up 4.3 per cent over the same period.

Additionally, customers are also spending more per transaction – up 1.8 per cent.

Mr Howell added that many businesses were feeling optimistic, according to data from Westpac’s Quarterly Business Snapshot.

“Our customers are well positioned in 2024,” Mr Howell said.

“A significant 92 per cent of business leaders employing 20-200 people said they are looking to invest and expand in the next 12 months. It’s great to see this kind of confidence shining through.”

David McGuinness, founder of Sydney’s famous Bourke Street Bakery, also a Westpac business customer, said he wasn’t surprised by the numbers having seen hot cross buns fly off the shelves in the lead-up to Easter.

“When we started our business 20 years ago, we were one of only a few bakeries in Sydney selling sourdough and those sorts of artisan products,” Mr McGuinness said.

“Now there are three or four bakeries in every suburb.

“It’s great to see Australians really embracing good quality baked goods.”

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