Butter shortage burning Halifax bakery's bottom line
Gingerbread Haus increasing prices as demand drives up prices
Dairy Farmers of Nova Scotia believes there should be sufficient supplies of butter to get through the Christmas rush, but that doesn't mean some businesses aren't feeling the pinch of a butter shortage.
A shift in consumer habits has led to an increase in the butter market. Over the last few months, some grocery stores and bakeries have found themselves without the basic food ingredient.
At the Gingerbread Haus Bakery in Halifax, they've had weeks where their butter orders didn't show up.
"There have been weeks where we haven't been able to make ... certain products because we didn't have butter in stock," said Michael Winge, the owner.
He started freezing some cases as back up, but with the increase of Christmas orders, he's quickly used up his emergency supply.
"Right now our most buttery item is our stollens, which is a Christmas item. Not only is it made with butter, but it's also dipped in melted butter."
Winge uses about 50 kilograms of butter each week. He says he's more concerned about the current price than the shortage. Demand has nearly doubled the cost of his butter. And that's not all.
"Right now there's a chocolate shortage, a hazelnut shortage, and even an almond shortage," he said. "So the price of all these items has gone up considerably as well."
Winge tried to absorb the increased cost, but he's had to raise his prices. He's hopeful the demand and the cost will drop in the new year.
Brian Cameron, the general manager of Dairy Farmers of Nova Scotia, says this is the time of year when butter sales draw down stocks.
"But based on retail sales I see advertised, I am assuming that the processors who make the butter have sufficient supply for the market," he said in an email.