On Friday, we got a call from our contact at Bakers Inn with great news: they’ve lowered the price of their bread from $1.10 to $1 per loaf, effective immediately. For years, big bakeries like Bakers Inn, Lobels, and Proton have always sold a standard loaf for $1. However, this changed at the start of the new year due to government tax adjustments and other policies, causing the cost of making bread to increase.

As a result, bread has consistently been selling for US$1.10 in retail outlets. If you buy from local shops, that’s US$1 plus $500 ZWL (equivalent to $0.10 USD). The issue worsens if you purchase from formal supermarkets and outlets. These places typically adhere to a “no mixing currencies” policy, meaning if you pay in USD, you’ll receive your change in USD. The problem? There’s a scarcity of USD change in Zimbabwe, so a loaf of bread priced at US$1.10 will effectively cost you US$2.

Bakers Inn to the rescue

Bakers Inn is keenly aware of some of the problems their customers have been facing with these new prices. They listened intently to the feedback from both customers and traders who form part of their distribution network and came up with a solution. They would sacrifice their share of profit and reduce the price of their bread back to US$1 for retail customers and US$0.93 for wholesale customers i.e. customers who buy 10 loaves or more.

It seems not everyone is on board as some retailers have defied this agreement while others are still working out the kinks. The official Bakers Inn outlets however have already started selling bread at US$1 retail and 93 cents wholesale. Notable among these are Baker’s Inn’s own Express shops or containers and Simbisa’s Bakers Inn branded outlets. So if you walk into either Simbisa and visit a Bakers Inn container you will be charged US$1.

Bakers Inn’s massive network of containers

In recent months, Bakers Inn has been expanding its network of branded container outlets. They’ve established nearly 150 of these outlets across various high-density suburbs like Epworth, Chitungwiza, Hopely, and Mabvuku. Zimbabwe’s economy is now predominantly informal, with formal operators often facing tough competition from informal sector players. However, Bakers Inn has chosen a different strategy. Rather than viewing the informal sector as adversaries, they recognize them as vital partners who can contribute to their growth. This approach has proven successful for them, allowing them to maintain high sales volumes while the formal sector struggles.

Here’s a list of all the containers currently operated by Bakers Inn: