Empty shelves with no toilet paper are not an uncommon sight in supermarkets during the coronavirus crisis as worried shoppers buy up the essential household item.
It prompted one Dortmund bakery to poke fun at the Hamsterkäufe (panic buying) and cheer up customers by producing a cake shaped like a toilet roll.
READ ALSO: German word of the day: Der Hamsterkauf
However, they have become so popular that the Schürener Backparadies, run by Tim Kortüm, is continuing to produce them. The cakes are even helping to keep the business afloat during this tough time.
“We've had to stop doing a lot of things here,” Kortüm said. “No more wedding cakes, no more sandwiches for events. That's when the idea with the toilet paper cake came up,” said the owner of a bakery and pastry shop in the Schüren district of Dortmund.
At first it was just a joke. But the round marble cake, which is wrapped in white fondant and looks very much like a roll of toilet paper, immediately sold like hot cakes.
“The first eight were gone in a few minutes,” the 36-year-old said.
He now produces 200 “rolls” per day.
“That can't completely offset our losses,” said Kortüm “But at least my employees in the bakery are busy again.”
He employs 40 people who, like many others, have been worried about their jobs since the coronavirus outbreak started.
Kortüm, who also advertises his creations on Instagram and Facebook, said he was initially a little worried about whipping up a shitstorm when he introduced the toilet paper cake on the Internet. “But for the most part, people think it's just cool and they love our idea,” he said.
The bakery has also started creating cakes modelled on the face mask emoji.
Toilet paper has become an emblem of corona times. Germany, like many European countries, has seen demand for the “white gold” spiral since the start of the outbreak.
As we reported earlier this week a German online calculator has even been set up so curious users can work out how long their stockpile will last.
Graph translated for The Local by Statista.
Videos of scuffles in supermarkets have been circulating widely on social media – one argument over toilet paper in a supermarket in Mannheim last week even ended in a fistfight that required police intervention.
Chancellor Angela Merkel set a better example when she was photographed doing her weekly shop last Friday with just one pack of toilet paper in her trolley – and four bottles of wine.