Butter Shortage in France Could Drive Up the Price of Croissants


Photo by: Tim Platt

Tim Platt

Oh la vache! The French are facing a serious butter shortage, which may prompt them to feel the pinch at patisseries and boulangeries across the country.

Over the past year, butter prices have shot up 92 percent. That dramatic increase is expected to drive up the cost of French baked goods like croissants, which are 25 percent butter, as well as pains au chocolat, brioche and beyond.

“Last April, we were paying €2,500 a tonne” for butter, Matthieu Labbé, of the baking industry group Federation des Entrepreneurs de la Boulangerie (aka “la FEB”), told Le Figaro. “Now it’s €5,300. At best, consumers are going to have to pay more. At worst, we may no longer be able to get butter.”

No butter? C’est impossible! Actually, it may be quite possible. Fabien Castanier, a spokesman for the federation of French biscuit and cake-makers, told the Independent there was a “real risk of butter running out” across in France. Apparently the issue stems from a milk shortage, which has been ongoing since May 2016. Much of the milk being produced in France is being directed to the production of cheese and cream, and butter is feeling the effect.

Labbe told Le Figaro the baking industry would like dairy producers to prioritize butter production.

Otherwise, he said, the prices of baked goods in France will rise significantly and “some bakers could really be in difficulty.”

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Photo courtesy of Getty Images/ Tim Platt

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