Local bakeries left with crumbs in bread wars

Local bakeries left with crumbs in bread wars
Photo: DPA
The trip to the local bakery to pick up fresh German bread in the morning is likely become longer, as an industry association expects more than a third of all small bakeries will close by 2020.

Helmut Klemme, president of the Association for German Wholesale Bakeries said the number of bakeries will probably drop from 14,000 to about 8,000 over the next eight years.

The group said the small bakeries were losing business to the growing number of bakery departments in supermarkets and large discount stores.

Those departments are expected to increase from about 15,000 now to 25,000 in 2020, when about 60 percent of bread will be bought in grocery stores, Klemme said on Monday in Düsseldorf.

“The consumers are voting with their feet,” he said in a statement. “This development is clearly at the expense of the small bakeries.”

German consumers have been paying more for bread in traditional bakeries, where a kilo of bread costs about €3.88, Klemme said. In bakery departments of larger stores, that same weight costs approximately €2.42.

Klemme also predicted that prices would rise for consumers because of rising costs of commodities and higher energy prices.

Germany remains one of the top bread-consuming countries, with the average person eating 57 kilos of bread and rolls each year, according to the association.

DAPD/The Local/mbw

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