Traditional Easter favourites, hot cross buns went on sale at major supermarkets on New Years Day – a move that has angered bakers across the country.
Coles, which is offering fruit, fruit-free and chocolate flavours, will have the Easter staple on offer for as long as 16 weeks.
A Perth baker and pastry chef (who asked not to be named) said the early release date means consumers will have had their fill of the traditional Easter buns long before most local bakers put them on the shelves.
“It angers me to see the supermarket chains pump out hot cross buns for months at a time. Hot cross buns are only ever meant to be out a week before Easter. The whole meaning of Easter has gone,” he said.
“It means by the time good quality hot cross buns get out of the oven in the bakeries, people have already had a tray full and are less likely to purchase them.”
However, supermarket majors have been quick to claim the early roll-out simply meets consumer demand.
A spokeswoman for Woolworths said hot cross buns and Easter eggs went on sale at the same time every year, in the week following Christmas.
“They are one of our highest-selling bakery items in the lead-up to Easter. Woolworths expects to sell more than 50 million individual hot cross buns in the months leading up to Easter,” she told The Queensland Times.
Last year, in January alone, Coles sold more than seven million individual hot cross buns, with more than 40 million buns sold overall.