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Inflation impacts holiday baking for professionals and home chefs alike

Nothing Bundt Cakes
Posted at 5:31 PM, Dec 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-27 18:31:12-05

ASHWAUBENON (NBC 26) — There's no better time to bake than the holidays. But this holiday season, high inflation is impacting everyone from amateur home chefs to seasoned professionals.

According to the USDA, the price of common baking ingredients like flour and eggs has increased substantially in the past year. Farm-level wheat prices are now predicted to increase between 30 to 33 percent in 2022, causing the price of flour to soar. Due to an ongoing outbreak of avian influenza, egg prices are predicted to increase between 30.5 and 31.5 percent.

Nothing Bundt Cakes opened in Ashwaubenon three weeks ago. Co-owners Jill McGrath and Marisa George say that between construction costs and the cost of ingredients, opening amid high inflation has been a challenge.

“It was more than what was forecast for us," McGrath said. 'So we have had to pay more for eggs, cream cheese, and butter.”

The two say their store has had a successful opening so far, especially with high demand for desserts during the holiday season. Now they're hoping sales continue rising to help mitigate the prices of ingredients.

"We just hope that sales increase as prices increase and that we’re able to meet our demand," George said.

This holiday season, some are going for store-bought desserts instead of baking at home because the cost of ingredients is so high that home baking has become the more expensive option.

Brandon Scholz, the president of the Wisconsin Grocers Association says inflation and supply chain issues are what are driving up the cost of ingredients at grocery stores.

"Grocers try to absorb as much of the increase in prices as they can," Scholz said. "At some point can the grocer not charge you for that and lose money? Or do they have to pass that cost along? Unfortunately you have to pass the cost along."

He says whether customers gravitate towards baking at home or picking up a store bought dessert comes down to what they prioritize.

“It’s a balance between do you want to do it yourself, and we know the price of ingredients are higher, but if you like the convenience and you want to buy a great product from the store, it’s there as well," Scholz said.

If you are set on baking at home, Scholz says there are ways that you can save. He recommends looking for private labels instead of name brands and looking for deals at your grocery store.

"If there’s a rewards program at the store that you shop at, certainly go for that," Scholz said. "Where there’s a buy one, get one free, look for those special deals."