Dozens of bakery products increased in price yesterday and over the weekend at 250 Washington area supermarkets, reflecting what officials said were higher costs for sugar, energy and the new concept with company bakers.
Increases range from one cent on some items to as much as 50 cents on Giant stores' apple sheet cake. The items covered by the wave of increases include speciality breads such as pumpernickel, cookies, pastries, bagels, rolls and stuffing mixes.
The bakers returned to work late last week after a 12-day strike that shut down the Safeway Bakery and Giant's Heidi Bakery and left both chains without their house-brand breads and baked goods.
To recover the costs of the new, two-year contract, Giant officials said they raised prices yesterday on about one-third of their house-brand bakery products.
Barry Scher, a spokesman for the company, which operates 121 stores in the Washington area, said the bakery increases will bring in about 1.2 percent in additional annual revenues for his company.
He would not say how much the contract will cost Giant, but other food industry analysts estimated the cost of about $1.6 million over the next two years.
Scher gave these examples of the increases, which affected 94 Giant products: A dozen filled doughnuts went up 8 cents, to $1.78; the plain dinner ring pastry, up 10 cents, to $2.29; and the cream cheese cake, up 20 cents to $3.85. The biggest increase was for the apple sheet cake, up 50 cents to $11.
None of the six bakery goods covered by the chain's self-imposed price freeze was increased, Scher said. Those items will remain at their regular prices through Aug. 2, when the freeze will be reviewed.
Items still frozen included the 34-cent family size loaf of Giant bread; hamburger and hot dog rolls, priced 75 cents for the 16-ounce package and $1 for two of the 10-ounce packages; and Giant English muffins, 79 cents for the 24-ounce package and 85 cents for two of the 12-ounce packages.
Larry Johnson, a spokesman for Safeway's 130 supermarkets, said that prices on about 30 of the company's 175 house-brand bakery products went up this weekend.
The increases ranged from 2 cents on Safeway Premium white bread, now 69 cents, to 20 cents for the Mrs. Wright's German Chocolate cake, now $1.99.
Safeway did not raise prices on its Scotch Buy 34-cent family size loaf of white bread, Johnson said.
He said the price increases were intended to take effect in Safeway stores on Monday, May 12. But because bakers were out on strike at that time, none of the bakery products could be marked up. When the bakeries reopened over the weekend and normal production resumed, stores were restocked with house-brand baked products bearing the higher price tags.
Johnson said the increases were made to cover Safeway's higher cost of materials, including sugar, and operations, such as energy bills and labor.
Officials of Safeway had said in early May that increased costs for sugar might lead to higher bakery prices. That prediction was made when the chain decided not to extend its food price freeze program.
But Johnson said yesterday that increased cost for labor contributed to the higher price tags on Safeway's baked goods.
A spokesman for Local 118 of the Bakery, Confectionary & Tobacco Workers' Union said the companies would have raised prices even if there bad been no increase in bakers' wages and benefits.
Under the contract, the 450 bakers who work for Safeway and Giant will receive 85 cents an hour more during the first year and another 85 cents an hour in the second year, plus improved pension and holiday benefits.