“The bread of the dead is suffering from the hamburger syndrome” due to the explosion of diversity of presentations and portability of the same product, said Cuauhtémoc Rivera, president of the National Alliance of Small Producers (ANPEC).
Now, the bakeries of the traditional and modern sector offer varieties in terms of size, ingredients, flavors, filling and packages of one, three or up to 20 pieces. An effect known as ‘hamburger syndrome’, alluding to the variety of combos offered in fast food chains around a main product.
The meaning of this diversification, in a context of high inflation, lies in the fact that merchants seek to adapt to the consumption power of each sector of the population, in order to maximize their sales: smaller pieces for those with less purchasing power and filled presentations and family for the luckiest pockets.
A little bun for the scare of inflation?
The bread of the dead has a great variety throughout the country. But inflation in supplies has led to sweet bread being 22.55% more expensive than in October 2021, according to the most recent data from Inegi.
This means that, if a Mexican spent 200 pesos for the bread on his altar for the dead, now he would spend approximately 240 pesos to buy the same amount.
But in the specific case of bread of the dead, according to ANPEC monitoring, it is estimated that one in a large or family presentation is sold for 175 pesos on average, while a stuffed one of the same size is sold for 250 pesos, on average. This implies an increase of 96% and 66% compared to 2021 prices.
This is due to the fact that the flour with which bread is prepared in general has increased 38.8%, at an annual rate, while other inputs such as oils and vegetable fats have increased by about 25.98%.
Eggs, meanwhile, are already 33.5% more expensive than a year ago; fresh pasteurized milk costs 12.54%; butter has already risen 18% in the last year. And other occasional ingredients such as chocolate and cocoa have increased their prices between 9 and 13.8% compared to 2021.
These affectations are for the entire bakery industry, for example, “the bolillo, a product of daily use, has increased systematically by 29.2% with consecutive increases for 9 months,” says Cuauhtémoc Rivera, president of ANPEC.
Consumption will not decrease on these dates
However, it is a fact that the recovery in demand will come fully in 2022, after the opening of commercial establishments and even pantheons, indicates the ANPEC. This for two reasons, culturally, the celebration of the Day of the Dead is so important that Mexicans adjust their pockets to comply with the rites of the celebration.
Second, because a large sector of the population will go to the pantheons and put their offering to remember all the loved ones that the pandemic took. Well, this year they will finally be able to perform traditional rituals without the restrictions of the previous two years.
“The million deaths that we lost due to covid-19 still weigh heavily. People did not see their people alive again. Many were unable to give them a Christian burial with the entire process of vigil, mourning and burial (…) for reasons of the pandemic. Now that these dates arrive (…) you remember those absences and neither poorer nor richer, less people bring some flowers, a candle and make a novena. It is part of a cultural issue ” , indicates Cuauhtemoc Rivera.