Why even Panaderia prices are expensive as they are

I’m considering starting a Panaderia index to monitor the price of Mexican pastries in my city.

For the longest time, if I needed a sweet treat (or several) to get me through the week, I could count on Panaderias to sell me tasty Mexican baked goods at affordable prices.

In the late 2000s, when I discovered Panaderias, I remember going with my Dad to the local Mexican grocery and filling up a tray with over a dozen cakes, cookies, and region specific baked goods for as low as 50 cents a piece.

That bag of sweet breads lasted several days.

Fast-forward to before the pandemic and, while prices of certain Panaderia increased, it’s still a relatively affordable treat.

Here’s a photo of a Cardenas Panaderia from 2019.

One baked good cost .79 cents, on track with pre-pandemic inflation, but not too expensive yet.

In 2023, it’s $1.30, a 40 percent increase.

I kid you not, the promotional price recently was $1.29, a whole cent cheaper.

It’s not just affected pricing, I’ll include a photo next time, but the shelves of baked goods are not as stocked as they usually are. Cardenas has cut back on certain Panderia and are probably baking as much as is bought to keep waste down.

Why Panaderia is expensive is simple, the price of ingredients has gone up across the board: flour, milk, butter, eggs and sugar, all of it.

It goes without saying but it’s all bakeries and their baked goods, not just the Mexican ones.

According to the USDA,

“The average price level across the cereals and bakery products category was up 13 percent in 2022, well above the previous year’s increase (2.3 percent) and more than three times as large as any year in the past decade. Prices for flour and prepared flour mixes were nearly 19 percent higher in 2022, far exceeding the average from the previous decade (0.2 percent).”

  • “Milk prices increased by 15.2 percent in between 2021 and 2022.” US Inflation
  • “The price of margarine has jumped some 24% over the past year.” – GMA
  • “Sugar prices have risen by a whopping 41.9 per cent.”  The Smart Cube
  • While egg prices have dropped to earth, they’re still 64 percent higher than pre-pandemic levels. BLS

At $1.30 per baked good, I can still afford 9-10 sweet breads a week without it breaking my weekly snack budget.

But, if it gets any higher, I’m either going to cut back or swear off of Panaderia until prices go down, which, just by going off vibes, might take several years.

Leave a Comment