Canada’s Stores Keep Selling Out Of Flour & Yeast Because Everyone’s Baking So Damn Much

Bake it till you make it!
Canada’s Stores Keep Selling Out Of Flour & Yeast Because Everyone’s Baking So Damn Much
Senior Editor

For goodness bake! If you’ve noticed a shortage of supplies like eggs, flour, milk, yeast, and chocolate chips recently — you’re not the only one. As Canadians continue to adjust to life at home, we’ve all taken up some new hobbies. However, it seems one particular activity has become particularly popular with people isolating, and it’s the reason that many Canadian supermarkets are empty of essential supplies.

Until recently, many of us had never baked a cake before, let alone divulged into the world of bread baking, cookie creating, and masterpiece making. 

However, due to an unprecedented amount of time at home, and a desire to do pretty much anything that doesn’t involve Zoom or Netflix, we’ve all apparently taken up baking. Collectively.

While our new cooking experiments have certainly provided us with some tasty snacks, as well as some doughy disasters, they’re actually causing a shortage of essential items in major stores across Canada.

In fact, items such as yeast, milk, flour, eggs, and even chocolate chips have suddenly become notoriously hard to get hold of.

If that wasn’t enough, there’s also reported shortages of pasta, salt and pepper, paper towels, and dish soap.

Step aside, toilet paper. Kitchen essentials just became Canada’s hottest commodity!

In fact, when CBC reporter Michelle Ghoussoub asked why everybody was baking bread all of a sudden, her tweet was met with countless comments and photos, about, well, people making bread!

The reason we’re all suddenly baking goodies, according to a professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Toronto, actually goes deeper than just being bored.

“Eating carbohydrate foods like bread stimulates insulin, which raises the uptake by the brain of the essential amino acid, tryptophan,” Harvey Anderson told The Globe and Mail.

“Tryptophan in the brain increases production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that promotes calm and sleep in times of stress. So enjoy your fresh bread, just don't eat the whole loaf at one time,” the professor explained.

In fact, we’re so desperate to get said serotonin, that we’re baking at unprecedented levels.

Google Trend searches for the word “bread” has hit an all-time high, and similar hashtags garnered nearly half a million posts on social media channels.

According to Daybreak Flour Mill in Saskatchewan, online orders have spiked so much that they’ve been forced to alter their production levels altogether, in order to keep-up with demand.

In Toronto, similar things are happening. Brodflour, an urban mill and bakery, has seen a 700% increase in their flour sales.

While we’re all enjoying our new carby hobby, there’s actually a downside to our obsessive baking.

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Since the surge in baking, which includes cakes and cookies, Canada’s grocery stores have been running extremely low on basic products. In particular, yeast, eggs, flour, and milk.

While this doesn’t sound like too much of a drama — I mean we all lived through the infamous toilet paper shortage — it’s actually starting to impact small business owners.

One Twitter user explained, “Professional bakers across Canada are finding it difficult to buy yeast. Businesses that actually need to bake to put food on the table.”

Another person added that they’d been forced to locate yeast online, after searching for it for three weeks. They paid $65 for an amount that would usually cost just $5 in stores.

Thankfully, there’s an Alberta company on-hand that is doing their best to fix the country’s yeast shortage.

Calgary’s AB Mauri factory is now operating at 25% over capacity, in an attempt to re-stock yeast supplies across North America.

On a weekly basis, this facility’s yeast supports the making of two million loaves of bread in Alberta alone.

That's a lot of sourdough!

In the meantime, while we wait for our local supermarket to replenish their stocks, let’s all try and cut down our baking, especially if we’re doing it several times per week.

Even though it's a delicious and very addictive new hobby, there are people out there who have been looking for supplies like flour and eggs for weeks. Weeks!

If you’re already stocked up, don’t buy any more baking items right now. It’s the yeast we can do.

Helena Hanson
Senior Editor
Helena Hanson is a Senior Editor for Narcity Media, leading the Travel and Money teams. She previously lived in Ottawa, but is now based in the U.K.