Demand for bread to follow Philippine economic growth, bakers say Jan 22, 2011 (Philippine Daily Inquirer - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- MANILA (PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER/ANN) -- Despite the recent increase in bread prices, bakers are confident that consumers will continue to patronize bread products, with growth to be in line with the expansion of the economy.
Walter Co, president of the Philippine Baking Industry Group (Philbaking), said that growth in demand usually follows the trajectory of growth of the overall economy due to the way Filipinos eat bread.
He said bread could be a gauge of how well the economy is going, as consumers usually increase bread consumption when the economy is good.
During hard times, bread consumption dips as this gets sacrificed for other alternatives, usually rice or instant noodles.
Also, bread demand could also be indicative of employment and education conditions, with bread being one of the usual choices for "baon" of employees and students.
"When the economy is good, bread consumption is good also. It's an on-the-go food item that Filipinos tend to buy more when they have more disposable income," Co said in an interview.
Local bakers recently hiked prices of loaf bread by P1 and of 10-piece packs of pan de sal by 50 centavos.
An executive order eliminating tariff on milling wheat for the next six months, however, may cause prices to go down by 50 centavos for loaf bread and 25 centavos for pan de sal in 10-piece packs.
But any bread price reduction will not take effect until around the second or third week of next month.
Co also said that bread consumption grows in line with population growth.
According to data from the National Statistical Coordination Board, the country's population is expected to reach 95 million this year, from 93 million in 2010.
Per capita income is seen reaching P108,421 (US$2,441) this year from last year's P100,538,...