The More Toppings, The Batter: Pancake Ingredients

Spend Matters welcomes a guest post from Sam Parry of Mintec.

First an article covering chicken wings and the Super Bowl and then one on pre-ordering for Valentine’s Day, so now to cover an event that fell between the two. February 12, 2013 marked the day for pancake lovers across the globe to run down to the stores and buy ingredients that they may only use once or twice a year.

The standard American pancake recipe involves; plain flour, eggs, milk, baking powder and sugar.  The classic pancake batter can have many interesting twists; whilst thick, fluffy pancakes are a popular choice in the US, the thinner folded version is sometimes preferred in Europe. Some countries even have specific pancake traditions – in France, for example, it is customary to hold a coin in one hand and touch the handle of the frying pan to make a wish while the pancake is turned.

The possible pancake topping combinations are endless…but enough on that. Let explore prices!


Flour prices are driven by the grain market. Wheat prices have fallen back a little in February as recent wet weather has eased concerns that drought, which had persisted since last summer, may affect the winter wheat crop in the US Southern Plains. World wheat production for 2012/13 is forecast at 653.6m tonnes, down 6% year-on-year, world stocks will be drawn on as production will be outpaced by wheat consumption, despite a drop of 3.5% year-on-year to 673.4m tonnes.

Another important ingredient is sugar, used in both the batter and other toppings. Sugar prices have fallen in February amidst reports of good sugarcane crash in Brazil, the world’s largest sugar cane producer, continuing the downward trend seen over the last 18 months. Brazil’s key sugarcane growing South-Central region has processed 531m tonnes of sugarcane in the current season, up 7.7% year-on-year.

Milk prices have risen over the past couple of weeks, against the downward trend seen since summer 2012. The global milk supply remains tight as high feed costs and adverse weather conditions have taken their toll.

And finally, bananas seem set to begin their seasonal price rise in February/March.

So weighing up the costs it looks like it was not only the waistline that suffered this year, but also the wallet!

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