Why hot cross buns are set to soar in price this Easter as Brits face dried fruit shortage

Hot cross buns are set to soar in price this Easter due to a global shortage of raisins, sultanas and currants, according to reports.

The seasonal snack is a central part of the national celebration of Easter.

Marked with a cross on top, the spiced sweet buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday and mark the end of Lent. 

But reports suggest bakers may have to seek alternatives to dried fruit this year.

Here’s why…

California wildfires affected crops at vineyards

Following wildfires at vineyards in California in October and November, the wholesale price of dried fruit was driven up.

Farmers are struggling to produce the necessary quantities of dried fruit, and are said to be producing increasingly fewer sultanas, currants and raisins. 

Prices of fruit in the UK are up 50 per cent since September as farmers have switched to growing crops such as almonds and pistachios, according to The Grocer.

Then prices were driven up in Europe as bakers turned to other suppliers

The US shortages sparked a 30 per cent rise in the price of sultanas from Turkey – a key UK supplier, according to The Times.

And at the same time, the price of currants from Greece has risen due to a one-third reduction in this year’s yield.

Now bakers may have to use alternatives

British bakers may be pushed to swap the dried fruits for alternatives, such as chocolate chips or orange peel, to keep costs down. 

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