Pricier Christmas Bakes As Costs Rise For Home Bakers


 
Home bakers say they have had to raise prices as the cost of ingredients like premium sugar, eggs, butter and flour has risen. (File pic)PETALING JAYA: Consumers may have to pay higher prices for Christmas cookies and cakes this coming festive season as home bakers struggle with increased costs.
Several home bakers who spoke to FMT said the price of core ingredients including premium sugar, eggs, butter and flour had increased, leaving them with little choice but to raise their own prices.
The price of refined white sugar is controlled at RM2.85 per kg but a reported shortage in the market has led to people having to buy premium sugar, which can cost almost double the price.
Michelle Francis.In the case of eggs, the government has lifted price controls and their prices are now floated.
“Last year, my price for a 1.5kg fruit cake was RM175. This year, I increased it to RM195 since the price of mixed fruits, sugar, flour, and even the alcohol used in my cake has gone up,” said Michelle Francis, the owner of Brandy and Rum Fruitcake.
She said she could not retain her previous prices as this would eat into her profit margin.
Cake Chemist owner Sree Amertharaj Ratnam meanwhile is raising the price of his cookies from RM38 per jar to RM40 per jar.
Sree Ameertharaj Ratnam.“I use pure butter to bake cookies and the price has increased lately,” he told FMT, adding that he refused to substitute butter with margarine which is cheaper as he did not want to compromise on the quality of his food.
Another baker, Michelle Lee, said the price of cake flour had increased from RM3 to RM5 per kg this year.
The owner of Michelle Cake Factory said the rise in costs had forced her to increase the price of her cookies by 5%. The cookies are sold at between RM35 and RM38 a jar.
Whiskylicious Fruitcake owner Bernard Francis said he was reducing the sugar he used in his fruitcakes and opting for other ingredients to bring out the sweetness to cope with the increased cost of ingredients.
“I bake as it is my stress-release mechanism, so while I am increasing my prices a bit, it is mostly to cover the costs,” he said.
Bake N’ Flake owner Tuwangari Pachiapan said she had to be mindful about raising prices.
“I cannot increase the price too much because my customers are mostly from the M40 and B40 categories,” she said, referring to the middle and lower-income groups.
Already, she has been receiving fewer orders for her fruitcakes this year, as she had to raise her prices following the increase in the cost of raw materials, especially brandy. - FMT


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