Recently we wrote about the new Lobel’s 50 cents half loaf which has been introduced on to the market in the last several weeks.
We discovered today that despite overwhelming acceptance of this “cheap” (see here why it’s not really cheap) option, the 50 cents half loaf is still not widely available in leading supermarket retailers.
The reason, in-house competition.
A Lobel’s representative told us most supermarkets such as TM Pick n Pay are allegedly not for the loaf for fear it would kill their lucrative in-house cheap options. We also noticed that even leading country wide chains such as OK and Bon Marche didn’t have the sought after loaf.
TM Pick n Pay has its own in-house “PnP School Packs” (see pic), a 5 slice pack selling at 25 cents.
The representative, stationed at a TM Pick n Pay store, told us every single day she gets to explain to eager customers why the half loaf is not available in the supermarket she serves.
We learned that apart from the price issue, some customers asking for the half loaf do this as a way of ensuring they only eat fresh bread as much as possible.
Apparently, for this reason, half loaves are convenient for small families, bachelors and people who may not finish a full loaf in one sitting.
We discovered that, for now, the half loaf is mostly being delivered to high density suburb outlets.
If it’s indeed the case that Lobel’s 50 cents half loaf is being intentionally blocked access to supermarket shelves, this won’t be the first time.
Back in 2014 the industry had the involvement of the Competition and Tariff Commission (CTC) over a long running bread war and unfair competition which saw the Lobel’s brand being barred from accessing shelves in supermarkets affiliated to Innscor, the makers of Baker’s Inn bread.
Below is the Lobel’s 50 cents loaf…