In response, some families are coming up with innovative methods such as bread-makers to face the challenges brought on by the the continually rising food prices. The price tag for baking a one-kilogram loaf of bread at home is approximately YTL 2, including the cost of both utilities and flour, while the market prices the same quantity at YTL 2.5. As a result kitchen expenses can be slashed by up to 25 percent just by switching to a bread-making machine.
Manufacturers of bread-makers are happy with the sales, with leading brands Sinbo, Arçelik and Tefal have recording a 50 percent increase in sales over the last six months.
Zeynep Fidan, a housewife from İzmir, said she feels much safer baking her own bread at home. "I don't add baking powder or any other artificial ingredients to the mixture," she said. She even bakes bread with potatoes, olives and other natural ingredients to enhance flavor and taste.
Fidan's monthly bread expense is close to YTL 115 at a rate of five loaves a day. Living on a pension, Fidan went ahead and bought a bread-maker for YTL 99 on a 12-month installment plan. "It doesn't take much of my time. Just five minutes is enough," she added.
Ayşe Çoban, another homemaker, switched to a bread-maker after she sampled home-made bread at the home of a friend. She isn't as concerned about the price as she is with the flavor of the bread itself. "We feel confident in our bread as we know what ingredients we use," she said. "Baking bread at home isn't as difficult as I thought."
Commercial bakers don't feel threatened by the trend to do-it-yourself bread, and in fact complain about the price increases, too. They say, however, that the industry is forced to raise prices because of price increases in basic ingredients. They say unless the government intervenes and better regulates the market, the industry will be hurt in the long run.