The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bread Prices around the world?

mcs's picture

Bread Prices around the world?

The post by althetrainer asking about pricing bread got me thinking.  How much does bread cost around the world as compared to the hourly or daily wage?  For instance, here Joe Blow (not to be confused with Joe the Plumber) makes $8 an hour (above minimum wage), my bread averages $4.50 a loaf, so it's costing him around half an hour of work.

I'm curious how much a decent baguette (from a baker, not a supermarket) would cost in France and how that compares to Jacques Blow's (that's the best I could come up with) wage.

How about other parts of the world?

Of course there are going to be large ranges of salaries and prices on bread, but it would be interesting to hear some international input.


Jw's picture

maybe you can build a worldwide breadindex? when I went to businessschool, there used to be a big mac index. Not sure if it still existis.

I will look into this for the Netherlands (but I don't buy bread, it bake it, so give me a week or so).


mcs's picture

Once in place, it'd be pretty easy to update within a spreadsheet.


audra36274's picture

Egypt where she lives. Send her a message, I'm sure she'd like to help.


gavinc's picture

I went to an open air market last weekend and bought an authentic rye soudough for $4.75 AUD.  The current rate for a registered plummer in Australia is $33.07 per hour AUD.

mcs's picture

Over here in Montana, the going rate for a registered plumber is about twice that in US dollars ($65).


althetrainer's picture

I can't remember the hourly rate of a plumber here.  All I can remember is that we had a bathroom situation at home last year.  The guy came and stayed for a couple of hours and we paid him $340, some parts included.  My guess is... somewhere between $75 and $85 an hour plus whatever they charge you for the parts.  If the guy comes and you don't like his quotes you still have to pay $50 for him just to show up. 

I don't buy breads but I checked the online flyer of the least expensive store in town, the Superstore, they have Wonder Bread sandwich loaf (560 g) on sale, 3 for $6. So I imagine their regular price around $2.50 a loaf.  Anything a bit more decents i.e. have a little bit of special ingredients such as flax seeds or rye in it will cost over $4 per loaf.  The special store I went to today, their plain sourdough white bread (yeast bread) was the cheapest $5.90 while their rye bread was the highest, almost $8.00 a loaf.

hsmum's picture

Edmonton-Calgary rivalry compels me to post!  :)  Superstore here in Edmonton sells "warehouse packs" of 4 loaves, available in white or whole-wheat (not whole-grain).  Pricing seems to vary month to month, but is less than CDN$4, making each loaf $1 or less.  And actually, for store-bought sandwich bread, it's really not too bad. 

It's been years since I was in an artisan bread shop, but grocery store multigrain sandwich loaf is CDN$4.50 to $5.00 and a French loaf or baguette, depending on size, ranges from CDN$2.50 to $4.50, although I have seen them on special for CDN$1 per loaf.

I can't speak to plumber's rates here, but most babysitters charge $10 and up!


dryfire's picture

The super market sells bread in the shape of baguette for $2 but it is inedible. They have something a bit better for around $3-$3.50 last time I checked.

Bakeries tend to be around $3.50-$4 for one.

Central KY here.

hansjoakim's picture

I was fortunate enough to spend a week in Paris last fall, and I seem to recall that most traditional baguettes bought at bakeries set me back €1 - €1.15. A good pointer towards average hourly salary in France can be found here: Based on the net monthly income of a construction worker, I'd say he's netting €9.16 hourly. Keep in mind that those wage figures are a bit dated.

I'm not sure what this says about the backhomebakery pricing level... ;-)

mcs's picture

I could afford to buy a lot more of my bread when I was working construction than now that I'm working as a baker; if that makes any sense. 


chahira daoud's picture
chahira daoud

Hello Mark, I really like this topic , it is very interesting to me indeed.

We can not talk about life in Egypt without talking about bread.

Bread plays a unique roll in Egyptian life, Egypt is the only arab country where people call the staple "aish" or "life" rather than "khubz".

During the egyptians long history, egyptians developed 82 different types of bread using corn, sorghum and barley as well as wheat. I would like to have the ability to collect all of these recipes of these such great kind of breads, I would like to put it all in one book, not to earn money but just to let the world know how much our bread is rich and very delicious.

Egypt "in the past" was a big producer of wheat, but now Egypt is the largest importer of wheat in the world, placing annual orders of about 7 million tons or roughly half of its annual consumption. 

The egyptian government , long time ago, has provided heavily subsidized bread for decades as a way to guarantee social peace in a nation where "poor people" or as we say"nas basseeta" simple folks represents the majority.

More than 40% of Egypt's 80 million people live on just 2$ a day, Almost 20% get by on daily income of just 1$.

Making bread at home in big cities is a leisure because buying it is much much cheaper. But the difference in quality between what we make at home and what we buy from the bakeries or markets is huge.

Almost all the egyptians buy the subsidized Balady (bal-a-dee) bread. you can buy 10 loaves "15  cm as diameter" of flat whole meal bread or we can call it pocket bread, you can buy the ten by 50 egyptian piasters, it means that one loaf costs 5 egyptian piasters, 1$ is 5.5 egyptian pounds and 5.5 egyptian pounds is 550 piasters.

Photo from national geographic for "Aish Balady"!!

While it costs me when preparing it at home, to make 30 loaves, just buying the flour costs me 10 egyptian pounds "less than 2$".

Mine on this link

So some people think that I am a stupid woman, but eating my bread and feeling the real and tasty taste of it makes me fell that i am a human body , at least i will not find a surprise in my bread while eating it "you can crack some little stones and sands in subsidized bread"!!!

Talking about other kinds of breads, we call "hoagie rolls" sandwich bread...our sandwich bread is not this one

but this one, but taller may be 20 cm length

This one"down in the picture" is my home made but the local market one is this one

not bad isn't it??

but look what i found....

 Is this loaf edible???

Thanks to my hubby, he went and buy these , just for these pics !!!

 And this kind of bread is called here"fino" or "aish fino"its lenghth is about 25 to 30 cm.But the quality is horrible in most of these bakeries., The ten loaves cost 2.50 egyptian pounds it is less than a half dollar.

In "Carrefour" where you can find the best bakery "comparing to the others" but still not as tasty as my home made bread, you can buy a good baguette by 5.5 pounds "1$".

And ten hoagie rolls will cost you 7.5 pounds or 1.5$.

Talking about other kinds of international bread like"ciabatta or boule" is like talking about something from the moon or from another planet.

Some people think that I am stupid because I bake at home my own bread, but for me and for my family , it is enough for us that we are eating the best quality of bread in Egypt.Simply because I use the best ingredients and I have some knowledge.

Once an old lady asked me to sell her one of my baguettes, i sold it by 2$.

An electronics engineer works in the field of "oil & gas industry"with 15 years of experience earns 50 egyptian pounds per hour, that means less than 10$ per hour.

That is not bad if all what we need to buy or consume is"bread", but we also buy clothes, health and educational services & others, we have to pay for it in "Dollars" not as a currency but as a "dollar's value".

That is all, sorry for talking too much but I tried to give you the whole image, I hope that you find this interesting to you!!

Thanks Mark and great topic as usual !!

Chahira Daoud

dwcoleman's picture

I sell my baguettes for $2.50 each. They're 500g before they are baked.

My focaccia is a lot more, at roughly $10 for 9"x12"x1.5" loaf.

MommaT's picture


Having recently moved from S. Africa, I can comment on the bread prices there.

Supermarkets and quick-marts typically have in-house bakeries where they produce at the least a standard white and brown loaf of bread.  These are pretty good and are certainly no 'wonder bread'.  Ingredients are much simpler and what you would use yourself to make a hearty sandwich loaf.  In addition, a broad range of sliced, bagged bread are sold.

The in-house loaves currently sell for R5.50 for a 700 gm brown loaf and R6 for a white loaf.  These loaves are sold unsliced and usually on a big rack in the store.  Sliced, packaged breads are a bit more - about R7.50 for a standard sliced loaf and up to R10 for a special loaf, such as Low GI bread.  

The equivalent prices would be

US$                 EUR

brown        $0.61               0.46

white         $0.66               0.51

slice          $0.83               0.63

low gi        $1.11               0.84

Lest you find these outrageously cheap, please consider that a typical day laborer would earn up to ~R10 per hour and that "minimum wage" varies depending on the job.  Minimum wage for domestic workers are prescribed at R6.88 for urban areas and R5.63 for rural areas.  Hospitality workers have a similar minimum wage, but it is widely known that many work for much less.  Minimum wages for farm workers are R650 per month or <R4 per month.  Call centre clerks, secretaries, bookkeepers and the like who have jobs that only require a high school diploma earn between R15-35 per hour.

Given the high degree of unemployment (some say 40%) and large number of people living at the poverty line, a loaf of bread that costs as much as an hour's work is frequently beyond reach.  As a way to counter this, many quick-marts will even sell a half-loaf of unsliced bread.  This makes a tasty lunch for many with a bit of curry, meat or, even better, a delicious avocado smashed on the fresh bread.  mmmmm....

Hope that helps your "research"!





pattycakes's picture

Bread prices have been regulated in some countries around the world because it is such a staple for the poor, and affordable prices keep bellies full. A rise in the price of the staff of life (tortillas in Mexico, for example, when government regulated corn went up) has spurred riots. Keep them full to keep them happy-remember the French Revolution! I believe the price of bread is currently regulated in Isreal, but the most recent reference I could find was 2006...

At any rate, I saw bread for $8.00 a loaf in San Francisco on a recent visit. There are tongue-in-cheek jokes about the poor people of Berkeley standing in bread lines...Acme bread, no doubt.

Here in Santa Fe, where the gulf between the rich and poor is tremendous, we do have $5.00+ loaves at the artisanal baker.


Janedo's picture

Hi Mark,

A classic baguette ranges from 60 centimes in a supermarket, 70-85 in a bakery. A baguette "tradition", better quality, is around 1,00 - 1,05 euros.

Minimum hourly wage is 6,84 euros which many people make unfortunately.

Bread is a basic thing here, so it's cheaper than elsewhere, I guess.


althetrainer's picture

Speaking of minimum wage, here in Alberta, Canada is $8.40.  A person earns minimum wage will have to work an hour to buy two loaves of decent whole grain bread.  Then you still have to come up with a bit extra to pay the GST (tax).

hsmum's picture

This thread is getting me thinking.  Wouldn't it be great if the government subsidized a basic bread-baking class for people on social welfare type programs?  It's a great skill to have, saves money, and results in good nutritious food.  One of my neighbours used to teach in a high school where the young people came from bad family backgrounds and were in a cycle of poverty.  She decided to teach them how to bake bread and she was amazed at the improvement to their self-esteem.

Last week I decided to calculate the economics of bread-baking.  None of my supplies were purchased in bulk, and they were all from regular grocery stores (i.e. no fancy ingredients!).  I figured that each French loaf cost me about CDN $0.50 and each white sandwich loaf to about CDN $0.85. And none of the ingredients sound like chemicals!


pattycakes's picture

It costs me 1/10 the price of a Whole Foods ciabatta to make one at home...


mcs's picture

This is very interesting information.  Thanks for all of the contributions, and I hope they keep coming.  Although I've done a decent amount of traveling and bought bread in quite a few places, I never really thought about how the prices were for 'locals', only how expensive or cheap it was for me based on the current exchange rate. 


Jw's picture


prices range from 1.40 euro to 4-5 for great bread.

I just saw bake-off bread with olive, basil, time, garlic, nuts. 3 for 4.50 euro (6 USD). that is quite a good price.

I guess some supermarkets use good bread as loss leaders in their assortment. I am not sure what to compare these prices too. Gasoline? A coke? a plummer?