For months bread has been a rare and prized commodity in our beloved Zimbabwe. It’s either in short supply where people have to stand in line for up to an hour to get a loaf, or it’s so expensive all people can do is just look at the stacked shelves before moving on with their miserable lives rather than buy it.

Supermarkets it seems to have adopted a new strategy to try and sell as much bread as they can. Instead of selling it as half loaves and full loaves, it is now being broken into slices.

Bread on a supermarket shelf

A price beyond many

On Monday bakers increased the price of bread again this week citing flour shortages and the usual deteriorating economic conditions in the country. While some publications said the new price would be $9.87.

We felt that was too high, most people were already struggling to buy bread at $7 and an increase to what is effective $10 per loaf would be unaffordable given what most people earn. We were of course right.

Bread is now selling at $9 in most shops well below its proposed prices. It was however not available in most shops anyway due to the persisting wheat shortages that have been blamed for other shortages in the past.

Breaking bread and selling it as slices might actually be serving a dual purpose. It makes the bread affordable to people who might be looking for individual consumption, but it also makes each loaf cover more customers and go longer.