It may only be a week into the new year, but supermarkets across Australia already have their eyes set on the next big holiday, with shelves already stocked up with packs of hot cross buns a mere three months before Easter.
Coles was the first to make the move, shelving out the traditional Easter snack as early as Boxing Day. Competitors Woolworths quickly followed suit and are now selling their hit Cadbury hot cross buns for $5 alongside the traditional fruit variety.
They call them Hot Cross Buns because when they appear on shelves from December 26th, everyone gets “cross” and “hot” under the collar
— maximum chips (@maximum_chips) January 1, 2023
Both supermarket giants justified their decision to sell the treats early, as hot cross buns have proven time and time again to be an extremely popular snack.
“We sold more than 1.8 million individual hot cross buns the first week they were on sale last year,” Woolworths merchandise manager Donald Keith said.
“We anticipate the same as customers look to close off 2022 with a delicious and favourite treat.”
Coles has announced they expect 2.5 million hot cross buns to fly out the doors in the first week of the new year, adding they also plan on selling large batches of their Vegemite variety.
“Customers love our delicious hot cross buns and the early sales in December tell us that there is a strong demand to try the limited-edition flavours before the traditional Easter period,” Coles spokesperson Andy Mossop said.
Despite being a popular Easter treat, many people are unimpressed with the supermarket’s decision to sell the buns months ahead of their allocated holiday.
COLES SELLING HOT CROSS BUNS IN THE EARLY DAYS OF JANUARY. HOT CROSS BUNS ARE FOR EASTER. EASTER IS IN APRIL. EASTER IS OVER THREE MONTHS AWAY. EASTER IS IN MORE THAN A QUARTER OF A YEAR AWAY. END THIS NOW.
— ms box (@ksootoo1) January 3, 2023
Hot Cross buns sighted in Woollies. Surely taking the piss!
— Chris Caton (@DrChrisCaton) December 26, 2022
Shameless marketing in action. Hot Cross buns in the supermarkets on Jan 1. Must be some kind of record. pic.twitter.com/Y1y5nsdjzO
— Selma in the City (@selmainthecity) January 2, 2023
However, other people have come out saying they’re thrilled to see the snacks on shelves, with some arguing that hot cross buns should be sold all year round.
I don’t understand why some folk are so worried and hung up about when retailers start selling hot cross buns.
BTW – should be all year round to save the anxiety of those with little else to worry about
— Stephen Koukoulas (@TheKouk) December 26, 2022
i for one welcome the return of hot cross buns, should be sold year round
— jack begbie (@jackbegbie) December 26, 2022
Am I the only person in Australia who is not just happy – but excited – that hot cross buns are already in stores?
— Peter Black (he/him) – @[email protected] (@peterjblack) December 26, 2022
Hot cross buns aren’t the only Easter themed product now on display, it is understood that even department store Big W has joined in on the early celebrations and is already selling Easter eggs.
But just like Coles and Woolies, a Big W spokesperson has told Yahoo Lifestyle that their early release of Easter products was to appease their customers.
“At Big W we know our customers like to plan their shops ahead. Providing customers with a selection of Easter products early allows them time to spread out their spending over a few months or the opportunity to enjoy a few favourites in the lead-up,” they explained.