Australians are eating less meat pies as inflation causes meat and dairy costs to rise, sending pie prices skyrocketing.

With new data from the Australian treasury confirming a 5.9 per cent increase in annual food costs for this year, bakeries are being forced to raise their prices and Australians are finding it harder to crack open their wallets for the beloved Aussie staple.

September has seen competition in Australia’s domestic dairy industry explode, driving up the milk prices. A recent report from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry predicted milk prices will rise to 72.5 cents per litre by 2023 – a 12 per cent increase from the cost in June.

I was paying $200 for a 25 kilogram block of butter at the start of the year, now it’s $312.

Demand for Australian beef in China has also stretched thin the country’s supply of meat – driving up prices. Meat and Livestock Australia recorded China imported a huge 274,000 tonnes from around the world – with a whopping 34 per cent of that from Australia.

For bakery owners across Australia, the changes in meat and dairy prices have made business especially hard, with profit margins driven down as expenses add up.

Stuart Masters, owner of Miss Lilly’s Kitchen bakery café in Newtown, is one of the many bakers affected by the change. With pies being the main attraction of Miss Lilly’s Kitchen, the rise in meat and dairy costs have had a drastic impact for Masters, who said he was “scared” the price increases will drive off customers.

Miss Lilly’s Kitchen in Newtown, one of the many bakeries affected by rising food prices. Photo: Alexandra Giorgianni.

With his gourmet pies already double the price of the average supermarket meat pie, at $7.50, the $1 increase is making his product a tougher choice for customers.

But Masters says he can’t not raise his prices, despite reluctant customers.

The chef uses up to 150 kilograms of butter a week to make his pastry, making these new prices necessary but extremely expensive.

“I was paying $200 for a 25 kilogram block of butter at the start of the year, now it’s $312,” he told Central News, “which is frankly much more than I should have to.”

For beef, an essential ingredient of a number of his pie recipes, Masters has also seen a $45 increase per 15 kilograms of meat.


A pie is now more expensive than ever. Photo: Alexandra Giorgianni.

But as inflation continues to rise the end of these ballooning food costs is unclear, and Masters predicted he will have to continue raising his own prices.

“Every day or every week, something else goes up. six or eight weeks ago, my prices went up and will probably be going up again in another four weeks,” he said.

Main image of Stuart Masters by Alexandra Giorgianni.