French butter shortage causes consternation


A perfect storm of various trends is causing a butter crisis in France. Increased demand for French baked goods in Asia and other locations, coupled with a reduced European milk supply, has caused a shortage of butter and a resultant spike in prices that shows no sign of abating

Butter prices in France have increased 60-percent the past year.  Photos of empty store shelves across the country drive home the point. French households aren’t the only ones feeling the pinch; bakeries are having difficulty sourcing the high-fat, high-quality product necessary for making perfect croissants and pastries. 

 “I’m looking for butter everywhere,”says Claude Margerin Francois, who runs a small French pastry company. Although she could import lesser quality, lower cost butter from abroad, she steadfastly refuses.  “Just by smelling it I could tell it was not good enough,” she said of the product.

The director of France’s Federation of Commerce and Distribution has tried to ease fears by suggesting that consumer panic has caused a run on butter and that the shortages are only occasional and not that severe. In the meantime, bakers across France have been raising prices. The cost of a croissant has remained fairly stable at about 1 euro, but it won’t be able to remain at that level for much longer unless butter prices return to levels of past years. 

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One Comment

  • adrienneyoung  on  October 26, 2017

    So no trip to Paris this winter? Ack!

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