“Well I went to see this baguette at €0.29, well it’s a bit of the scam of the century! It’s just air, it’s much less dense than the others”. Like Claire, who shares her opinion on Twitter, several internet users have wondered about the low price of the Leclerc baguette, blocked last week to improve the purchasing power of the French, on social networks. Can it be of good quality?
Last week, in fact, the Leclerc brand announced last week that the price of the baguette would be blocked at 0.29 euros for at least four months, in anticipation of inflation. On Thursday, Lidl matched this price. And this while in France according to INSEE, the average price of a baguette is 89 euro cents. The announcement angered French artisan bakers and industry players. They denounce in a press release “a demagogic and value-destroying campaign for a sector of excellence. »
It’s the same wand as a year ago
In reality, as Michel-Edouard Leclerc reminds us on his blog in response to the controversy, it’s been “more than a year since the 1st price white baguette has been sold (without any problem) between 0.24 and 0.32€ in E.Leclerc centres, but also in the most efficient competing stores”. And the selling price of the baguette is not everything: large retailers, who buy in bulk, obtain better prices from suppliers and can therefore afford to lower the final price of the product.
But the white wand is in any case not terrible for health
On the other hand, the white baguette is not necessarily the best for your health. As explained last year by Doctor Réginald Allouche, doctor and biomedical engineer in the columns of Parisian, it is “made from flours which cause a sudden increase in the level of glucose in the blood (glycaemia)” and provides little fibre. “Traditional” bread has a better glycemic index: around 55 compared to 80 for white baguette, he says.
According to research conducted by the Research Institute for Well-Being, Medicine and Health Sport (Irbms), the glycemic index is 57 for traditional bread and 85 for the baguette, even worse. The institute has also analyzed the nutritional values of different French breads, and the traditional baguette indeed contains less carbohydrates and sodium than the ordinary baguette. Organic breads and wholemeal breads have much more fiber.
In addition, traditional baguettes comply with a charter and contain “no chemical additives, unlike classic breads which often contain flavourings, texture agents and preservatives: acetic acid, ascorbic acid, lecithins, mono-glycerides of fat,” says Dr. Allouche.
The French prefer tradition
Furthermore according to the latest survey by the Federation of Bakery Companies (FEB), the French prefer the traditional baguette, at 41%, ahead of the classic baguette and the cereal one.
Michel-Edouard Leclerc recognizes this on his blog: “the 1st price white baguette is not the best-selling (30% of sales), but we still sell millions of them. And it is a marker of purchasing power for hundreds of thousands of French families who are to the nearest euro when they do their shopping. »
Asked Friday morning on BFM TV, Michel-Edouard Leclerc said he was above all “responsible for the 18 million customers” of Leclerc stores and called on the political class not to surf on the polemic of the baguette: “Let us do the job of selling for less,” he said.