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BUMPER HOT CROSS BUN SEASON FORECASTED

Kiwis on track to eat more than 11 million hot cross buns and half a million chocolate eggs from Countdown this Easter

17 March 2015: New Zealand’s love affair with hot cross buns is stronger than ever, with Countdown anticipating customers will devour 11 million of the Easter treats this year.

More than five million individual hot cross buns have been gobbled up since they went on sale at Countdown this year. A further six million are expected to be sold in the lead up to Easter weekend.

Hot cross buns aren’t the only sweet treat Kiwis are tucking into this Easter. Countdown anticipates New Zealanders will also purchase around half a million loose chocolate eggs in the lead up to the public holiday. This doesn’t include boxed eggs and other Easter products.

Bakery Merchandise Manager Alton Gullery says that despite Easter being two weeks earlier this year, it looks as though Kiwis will eat as many buns as last year.

“We’re anticipating our customers will eat 11 million buns this year and our bakers are working hard to keep up with demand! The most popular are the traditional spiced fruit buns, but Hershey’s chocolate buns are hot on their heels and becoming a modern favourite. The fruitless buns are the third most popular across the country.”

In keeping with a competitive Easter tradition, this month each Countdown bakery took part in the annual competition to be crowned ‘Hot Cross Bun Bakery of The Year’. This year Christchurch is the home of New Zealand’s best hot cross buns, with the top honour claimed by bakers at Countdown Northlands. Countdown Mt Roskill and Countdown Botany took out a close second and third place, respectively.

All 174 Countdown stores submitted their best buns to a panel of judges who judged the Easter treats on visual appeal; the crossing and internal appearance; crumb texture, fruit quantity, overall quantity, volume and perhaps most importantly, taste.

“Our bakers battle it out each year for the bragging rights,” says Gullery. “It gets very competitive, with people putting a lot of time and effort into perfecting the secret Countdown hot cross bun recipe.”

Notes for editor:

The top Countdown hot cross bun bakers for 2015:

1st: Countdown Northlands (Christchurch)

2nd: Countdown Mt Roskill (Auckland)

3rd: Countdown Botany (Auckland)

The following stores also claimed hot cross bun glory for their region: