BETHESDA, MD — A pantry staple for many Americans, bread could see surging prices this summer as a result of the war in Ukraine and the pandemic.

The story debuted on CBS Mornings with data revealing that the overall cost of groceries has already increased 10% from last March. The segment featured industry experts who warn that prices could rise another 35% in the months ahead.

Reporter Scott McFarlane shared some insights from conversations he had with bakery giants about the state of the industry. They shared that bread could become more difficult for Americans to afford, likely by midsummer.


Baltimore-based H&S Bakery, which produces and ships breads to restaurants and grocery stores across the East coast, is struggling with the short supply of ingredients.

John Paterakis, H&S Bakery co-owner and senior VP of marketing and sales, predicts another price increase.

“You’re going to see another increase in July that’s going to impact another 35% increase on flour,” Paterakis said. “That’s strictly related to the Ukraine-Russian war.”

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a country known as the , there has been a disruption in the production of wheat, barley and cooking oils. While both countries produce nearly a quarter of the global wheat supply, the war has halted production. McFarlane hinted that reserves are dwindling quickly.


The European conflict — on top of the rising fuel costs and the pandemic-induced supply chain disruptions and workforce shortage — is what industry experts like Robb MacKie, American Bakers Association president and CEO, say will directly impact consumers.

“The most vulnerable in our society are going to feel that earlier than anybody else,” he said in the televised segment.

CBS also featured this issue’s impact on mom-and-pop shops like Stella’s Bakery, a Rockville, MD-based bakery fighting with the impact of these challenges. Owner Stella Kouros shared the impact that the increased cost of ingredients like milk, cream and chocolate has had on her business, including the decision she’s likely to make regarding a price increase in August.


“In the past, my increases were many years apart,” Kouros said. “Now, I have done it twice since COVID and probably will have to do it again, unfortunately.”

McFarlane reports the industry’s pursuit of more federal land for domestic wheat production and for more oil and gas supplies. While the US makes 6-7% of the world’s wheat supply, McFarlane said that the baking industry is in pursuit of alternative ingredients or non-Ukranian wheats and flours.

For more information, watch the CBS Mornings segment here.

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