Hot cross bun war: Who eats the most in Queensland
Exclusive: Coles and Woolworths will be going head-to-head in a bun fight as soon as Christmas is over.
The supermarket giants will be selling hot cross buns before the end of the year, with Coles getting first out of the gates with national sales starting on Boxing Day.
Coles Head of Bakery Operations Shaun Percy told News Corp the decision to sell them across their stores early comes after sales in December last year revealed a growing demand outside of the traditional Easter period.
More than 1.6 million hot cross buns - equivalent to 124,000 kilograms - sold in just five days of landing in Coles stores before January 1, 2020.
Mr Percy said early sales results showed customers now expect Easter treats before they finish Christmas leftovers.
"While we understand there may be different views on selling the Easter treat early, our bakers are constantly being asked by customers when they can get their hands on our delicious hot cross buns," he said.
"Many of our customers are also telling us they want to be able to purchase hot cross buns all year round."
Coles sales data has also revealed the suburbs in each state and territory with the biggest appetite for hot cross buns in December last year.
In Queensland, Cairns ate 5328 buns, followed by Carindale (5034), North Lakes (4584), Mango Hill (4068), Nundah (3984), Elanora (3582), Hervey Bay (3522), Caloundra (3396), Sunnybank (3324) and Aspley (3228).
Overall, Queensland ate 15.6 million hot cross buns during the Easter period last year.
Coles sold more than 66 million hot cross buns, including nearly 12 million in the week leading up to Easter weekend last year.
Woolworths told News Corp it would start selling hot cross buns to customers before the New Year, and promised a new range of flavours to try.
"In previous years we have waited until January before introducing Hot Cross Buns, but we know this year has been a tough one for a lot of Australians," a spokesman said.
"Many customers are looking ahead to the new year and for those who want to ring it in with hot cross buns, we'll have a range of new and traditional flavours for every Australian."
Woolworths also said its data showed hot cross buns were popular, as they usually see nearly 17 million sold by the end of January alone.
"We can't wait to share our exciting new range with customers in the days ahead," the spokesman said.
ALDI confirmed to News Corp it would not be selling hot cross buns until January 2021.
"We know from previous years that our customers like to shop seasonal treats well ahead of the Easter period particularly in January," a spokesman said.
"So customers who desire Australian made, soft and flavoursome hot cross buns will be able to find them in our stores from January 13."
Originally published as Hot cross bun war: Who eats the most in Qld