Zimbabwe’s mainstream bread market takes a twist as 50 cents loaf enters market

If you have some US$0.50 cents on you in the coming days, weeks and perhaps months it may just become the norm to pick some bread for half a dollar from your favorite supermarket.

The only thing is that this won’t be the usual full loaf but a half loaf of Lobel’s Bread.

We have learned that in the last week the underdog Lobel’s Bread introduced half loaves at half the usual price of a full loaf of bread.

When we visited the popular Food Lovers Market in Harare, for example, we found crates of the half loaves at the tills.

We were told they were being given away as promos for any purchase of two full loaves.

The half loaves cleared labeled “New Half Loaf 50c” look set to roll-out in the mainstream bread market. We are not sure if this will be a nation wide roll-out or just for limited outlets.

The half loaves that we saw are in 360g of Prime White and Hi-Fibre variations.

This may also be one way, the once powerful, Lobel’s Bread which has been struggling to come back is trying to gain a stronghold in the market.

This development is likely to put price and demand pressures on the products of the other two competing bread brands namely Bakers Inn and Proton.

The inclusion of a Hi-Fibre variation is also apparently targeted at both the health and price conscious consumer.

The 50 cents half loaf is in fact more expensive compared to competitor full loaves selling at between 80 cents and 90 cents.

Apparently, the real strategy is in capturing low disposable income levels.

Before this development by Lobel’s Bread, supermarkets who saw the need had already started selling in-house packaged bread slices at about 25 cents targeted at low income earners.

This was an apparent realization of customer price sensitivity issues in view of ever dwindling disposable incomes.

The National Bakers Association of Zimbabwe (NBAZ) data indicates that Zimbabwe currently consumes 900 000 loaves of bread per day.

This number has been falling almost every year in the last few years due to ongoing and deepening poor national economics.