Prepare to pay more for baked goods, butter shortage is forcing bakery owners to adapt

Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 6:12 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - We’ve told you for months about supply chain issues that have led to the shortage of items like toilet paper, baby formula and computer chips. Now, you can add butter to that list.

There’s few things that Sassie Cakes owner Crysta Young loves more than baking. It’s passion that’s also her job. However, it’s becoming more difficult to do because of a shortage of a number of ingredients.

“We used to get butter very easily at a very good price and we were able to get it locally -- like Costco would sell it,” Young said. “The type I use is blocks of butter and a lot of places just don’t sell it anymore.”

Not only is butter more difficult to find, but the prices are double what she used to pay.

“This box of butter right now is currently about $13, I used to be able to get a box like this for about $6.89,” Young said.

In some cases, she’s had to change her recipes.

“This butter is a lot different than the butter I was using before the other place stopped using the butter,” Young said. “So, I’ve had to adjust my frosting recipe.”

This shortage likely just won’t have an impact bakery owners, it will also impact you.

“We are definitely a luxury item, it’s not a necessity,” Young said. “So with inflation and gas and everything going up, it’s definitely taking a toll on my business.”

Economists stress that business owners shouldn’t panic and that customers need to be patient.

“The business owners are in a tough spot,” Purdue Fort Wayne Lecturer John Kessler. “They got to look for places they can get new suppliers potentially to try to lower their costs as much as they can.”

Kessler warns you should be prepared to get less, but pay the same.

“We’re seeing the cost of ‘shrinkflation,’ Kessler said. “So instead increasing the prices, they’re shrinking the size of the packaging so you get the stuff for the same price.”

As for Young. relief can’t come soon enough.

“It would be nice to see prices of some things at least come down,” Young said.

Economists say it’s unclear how long the butter shortage will last as we head into the holiday season.