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Increased cost of sugar causes price of bread to shoot up

The price of bread in Kenya has increased by up to Sh10 as the cost of living in the country continues to soar.

A spot check by Nairobi News in various supermarkets in Nairobi has revealed that a 400gram packet of bread is now retailing at an average of Sh70, up from Sh60, a 600gram packet is selling at Sh100, up from Sh90, and the 800gram packet is now retailing at Sh140.

According to a report by Business Daily, bakers reviewed the prices upwards after the price of sugar went up. Currently, a 2kg packet of sugar is retailing at between Sh438 and Sh450 in various supermarkets.

This is a steep increase from the Sh270 price that same quantity of the commodity was retailing at in 2022. However, in some supermarkets, a 2kg packet of sugar is being sold at discounted price of Sh415.

Various brands of bread on display on a supermarket shelf in Nairobi in this picture taken on May 23, 2023. PHOTOS | DAVID KWALIMWA

“As a result of increased prices of raw materials in the baking industry, the cost of production has become untenable and hence we have increased our prices effective from May 22, 2023,” said Kenyan bakers in a notice.

Business Daily also reported that the increased cost of bread has been occasioned by the weakening of the Kenya shilling against the Dollar, even as the international price of wheat dropped from $520 a tonne to $310 a tonne.

The other reason is that the war in Ukraine prevented Ukraine from exporting wheat to various countries, including Kenya, considering it is the fifth largest wheat exporting country in the world.

However, Russia – which is at war with Ukraine – allowed for a United Nations brokered deal to go into effect, allowing Ukraine to export wheat along the Black Sea to various ports across the globe.

Various brands of sugar on display on a supermarket shelf in Nairobi in this picture taken on May 23, 2023. PHOTOS | DAVID KWALIMWA

A section of Kenyans reacted to the news of new bread prices being effected immediately:

“High Taxes will kill entrepreneurship and finally collapse of the economy,” said Ruguru Wa Gitau.

“On this, I am unbothered, I hate anything bread,” said Winnie Kiziah.

“We can do without bread bora ngwashe na nduma wasiguze naeza uwa mtu (as long as they don’t touch the price of sweet potatoes and cassavas),” said Bernad Aswani.

In May last year, the price of bread went up by between Sh5 and Sh10 due to rising costs of ingredients including cooking oil, fuel, wheat and packaging. That was the second time the price of bread was being increased within months as the same was witnessed in January 2022 and April 2022.

“The price of everything has gone up. We are grappling with the high cost of diesel on transport, expensive cooking oil, and an increase in packaging material, which is now up by 20 per cent,” Broadway Managing Director Bimal Shah said back then.

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