A popular coffee chain has been called out for charging $14 for a basic bacon and egg roll as high inflation causes pain for millions of Aussies.
Veron Wickramasinghe spoke out about the extraordinary price hike on social media over the long weekend after visiting a Hudson’s Coffee store in Melbourne.
‘A bacon and egg roll in Melbourne is $14 now, used to be $7.’
‘Was I gone for that long? When did a bacon and egg roll become $14,’ he asked. ‘Inflation sucks.’
Other items in the coffee shop’s cabinet were not much cheaper, either. A Ham & Cheese croissant came in at $12, a Pastrami Panini cost $16, while a Chicken Soba Noodle Salad cost $15.
The man was shocked to see a bacon and egg roll that previously cost $7 had doubled in price
Many Aussies warned this was the new normal at cafes across the country.
‘I paid $16 today for one that looks almost the same as that (Canberra).’
‘I went for some pho on Friday, $60 for two. Coffee this morning $14 for two regular almond caps.’
‘I paid $15 for takeaway avo vegemite on toast the other day,’ another added.
A fourth said: ‘A $14 bacon and egg roll is pure greed, not inflation.’
‘I went to a cafe today. $33 eggs Benedict plus a 20 per cent public holiday surcharge and card fee. Was $40 for an EGGS BENNY! We ended up only getting coffees which also came to $7.20.
Another suggested how Mr Wickramasinghe could avoid the expensive bacon and egg roll.
‘Buy the ham from Aldi, croissants from Costco and pack your lunch. The cost would be about $1.80 per croissant.
‘Or you can pay for the convenience and be sucked into the inflation bs, which is just corporate greed.’
Another asked: But tell me this. Why the hell do people keep paying these prices? Trust me, the best cure for high prices is HIGH PRICES. People should stop buying and watch what happens next.’
Others argued it was a sign that the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) needed to continue raising interest rates, given the cost of food was so expensive.
‘Inflation is out of control in Australia and the RBA has stopped raising rates. We’re in for much higher inflation for much longer. Not good!’ one wrote.
It comes as rising inflation sends the cost of food soaring, with RBA data showing food and non-alcoholic beverages price growth remained stubbornly strong at eight per cent in February, (down from 8.2 per cent in January).
Engineer Veron Wickramasinghe (pictured) spoke out about the expensive bacon and egg roll on social media
Despite keeping interest rates on hold in April, RBA governor Philip Lowe said further rate rises were on the horizon, particularly if firms kept lifting their prices and workers continued asking for higher pay.
The decision to keep interest rates on hold at 3.6 per cent in April followed 10 straight rate rises since May last year.
Dr Lowe told the National Press Club in Sydney on Wednesday the board decided to keep rates on hold to give the increases time to work through the economy, noting the impact of interest rate movements tended to lag.
He also said it was still ‘way too early’ to be talking about interest rate cuts.
In his speech, Dr Lowe said a few lingering supply-side inflation drivers could complicate the board’s job to return inflation to target.
Temporary supply-driven shocks such as high shipping costs had normalised but housing and energy remained two persistent sources of inflation.
The reopening of international borders was driving a sharp uptick in Australia’s population, he said, but housing supply would take years to catch up to the shifting demographics.
Many Aussies warned this was the new normal at cafes across the country as inflation sends food prices soaring
Although the shortage of housing could trigger more people to form share houses and other shared living arrangements, Dr Lowe said supply and demand would likely remain unbalanced and keep rent inflation ‘quite high for a while’.
He also said global supply-side factors were largely responsible for high energy prices, but if the transition to clean energy was not done smoothly then prices might stay higher for longer.
Sluggish productivity growth was also flagged as a ‘general supply issue’ and the governor said the nation would have to endure slower economic growth to get inflation down.
Dr Lowe said if these issues stuck around, a more ‘decisive’ monetary policy response might be needed.
The prospect of persistent supply-side inflation, he warned, was likely to prompt businesses to lift their prices and workers to ask for more money to account for costs.
Asked why the RBA was holding fire on more rate rises while other central banks such as the Reserve Bank of New Zealand continued to hike, Dr Lowe said he was prepared for inflation to ease more slowly in the interests of keeping most people in their jobs.
He also said Australia was better positioned than many other nations, with milder wage pressures and a large share of rate-sensitive variable rate mortgages.
On the role of government in managing inflation challenges, Dr Lowe welcomed the government’s decision to return the boost of revenue from higher commodity prices to the budget bottom line.
Asked if a lift to welfare payments like JobSeeker was viable in the high inflation environment, he said there could be scope to ‘help certain parts of the population who are really suffering’.
The man spotted the price hike at a Hudsons Coffee store in Melbourne (stock image)
Treasurer Jim Chalmers said the upcoming May budget would continue the work of budget repair as well as offering targeted cost-of-living relief.
‘The budget will be all about providing security in uncertain economic times, giving Australians the help they need and the economic future they deserve,’ he said.
Founded in Melbourne in 1998, Hudsons Coffee is now owned by Emirates Group with 80 stores across Australia, mainly in airports, hospital and CBD locations.
Hudsons have been contacted for comment.