food costs

Discussion in 'Professional Pastry Chefs' started by breadster, Sep 9, 2001.

  1. breadster

    breadster

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    do any of you get involved in purchasing?

    my dairy costs (particularly butter) have been rising out of sight- my latest invoice blew me away- i figured my butter prices have risen 55% since February (my supplier promised me it was only temporary- and that was last month at the 40%level) - since i have a wholesale and retail bakery- my selling prices must stay relatively fixed -i cant flow with market pricing like a hotel or restaurant- i wont substitute for the butter-
    Yikes!! time to check other suppliers- unless this is an across the market phenom like gas prices

    anyone else going through this? and dare we get into average price per pound for things
    in different parts of the country - and Canada?
     
  2. isaac

    isaac

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    well, butter is one of those thangs that will go up and down with the market and it is the hardest thing to promise a fixed cost on.

    the first thing i would do is compare prices with other venders but like i said, that might not get you to far since dairy goes up and down with the market.

    the second thing i would comsider doing is substituting a little shortening in lace of butter. for example, instead of using 100 percent butter, maybe use 85 percent butter and 15 percent shortning. that will still provide you with a nice selling product and your customers wont really notice since there is still a substanual butter content in there.

    another thing you can do.... and i know all of the people who read this will think i am freaking crazy....not saying i'm not but hey...

    when i was in delaware, i was reading some paper about food and it had a whole section of itialan pastries. instead of buter, they use olive oil. i think it is a cup of oil for 3/4 cup of butter but i am not sure. i will have to look it up.

    i am not sure that will really fly with american custumers since we all like high fat products, nomrally butter and shortening. just an idea.

    best of luck to you. let me know how it pans out.
     
  3. w.debord

    w.debord

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    I noticed a HUGE jump in prices at all the grocery stores in the area about a month ago. I was buying a 4-pack from Sams' club for around $5.00 for years, then it jumped to around $10.00 for the same 4-pack. So I didn't buy it and thought I'd find it cheaper at the reg. grocery stores, they were even worse. Different brands... all were sky high!

    Is this just Chicagoland?

    P.S. How about gas.......in our area!

    Have you asked any of the dairies what this is all about? If they expect prices to stay high?
     
  4. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    It's everywhere....butter is skyhigh close to $5 a # retail.
    It's part of the mid-western dairies going out of business and the demand going up....I got to hear about this as I traveled the state last month for Dept of Ag. field hearings. Sounds kinda like a broken record but what is happening on the farms affects what goes on in your kitchen.
     
  5. isaac

    isaac

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    i just talked with one of my chefs and i presented this question to him. his answer was to see if you can buy more from your vendor to drive down the price. that sounded like an idea.

    my idea that came to me while talking with him was to buy direct from the dairy farm. then you will cut the middle man cost. i remember a bakery that used to do this. they saved a lot of money too. try it.
     
  6. w.debord

    w.debord

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    I aprecicate that what goes on with the farmer affects us, but how has demand changed? Growth is null right now.

    We've been through this before with butter prices and they drop eventually (not quickly as I recall). It reminds my of the natural gas prices last winter....come on, every year winter comes in the mid-west. If the farmers are going out wouldn't some big guy for see that as good fortune for his butter selling business and move right in?
     
  7. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    I purchase Land O Lakes unsalted butter at the local Super Kmart for $3.89 (or sometimes less) a pound. I live just south of Denver fyi.
     
  8. panini

    panini

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    Breadster,
    Are your prices still up? I waited for three weeks and still no relief. My problem is that the grocery stores are at 2.99 and my vendor is not much under. Of course the quality is better. I don't like the large blocks so I buy 36 unsalted solids. Today I struck a deal with the dairy to fix me in at 1.88. It's risky though for I was at 1.47 two months ago.
    What do you think about all the suggestions for using shortening? heck the shortening is almost the same cost as butter.
    It sounds like you have the same type operation as me, do you have a website?
    Jeff
     
  9. breadster

    breadster

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    hiJeff-
    yes,my prices are still very high- its costing me $92-$95 per case of 36 like you get-that puts it at about $2.56-$2.64 lb.

    when i switched suppliers last year,they quoted me between $1.50-1.80- retail is $4.99/lb -

    shortening-forgetaboutit

    cream cheese wentup$20 a case too

    but i have trouble complaining about much of anything right now
     
  10. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    Dairy lands are becoming suburbs....we could use 5000 cows now for Missouri's dairy demands. Cream is through the roof...I made duxelle on a hot buttered crouton for a James Beard Event...ouch
     
  11. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    These prices aren't the highest I've seen. Right before the holidays in 1998 I was paying as much as $126 a case of unsalted solids. Something about the Japanese buying up all the butter, or was that beef? Gas was really high in Chicago last week. I paid up to $1.99 a gallon of 87 Octane on Friday.

    Kuan
     
  12. panini

    panini

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    Is that the real skinny on dairy? Shortage of farms? Why is it I always read about the excess dairy products the government has to store to keep the prices low.
    My dairy is still spouting about the mad cow thing, and alot of our products went there. That doesn't sound right does it?
    Butter always goes sky high in November every year to gather in whatever dollars they can from the once a year bakers during the holidays. I'm thinking we will see an all time high this year. LOL $ 5.49 ? Has anyone seen the new LOL retail pakageing? The old stuff wasen't really our best, if you want some of the good stuff we will sell it to you in 1/2 pound packages and mark it up 30%.
    Jeff
     
  13. angrychef

    angrychef

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    Here in Lalaland we're paying $2.46/# on a case of 30# solids. The only time I cut the butter with 1/2 shortening is in cookie doughs, more for the spreading and consistency than the actual cost.