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Good Friday is on March 30 this year.
Baker’s Dozen co-owner Peter McCutcheon said he made hot cross buns in his Mornington bakery for sale on the four Saturdays before Easter and the week leading up to Easter Friday.
The dates of sale had remained the same since he and his brother Alan started the business in 1988. ‘‘We’ve never sold them early.’’ The brothers were ‘‘thirdgeneration bakers’’ and when Peter was a teenage apprentice, hot cross buns were available across Dunedin for just the week before Easter and people would form large queues to buy them.
‘‘Not now — those days are gone,’’ Peter said.
Alan said supermarkets selling hot cross buns from January removed some of the ‘‘feeling’’ from Easter.
Supermarkets started selling the buns in January about five years ago.
The ‘‘commercialisation’’ of Easter was getting ‘‘worse and worse’’ and often people were sick of the buns by Easter, he said.
Foodstuffs spokeswoman Antoinette Laird said as each of its stores — Four Square, Pak’n Save and New World — were individually owned and operated, the availability of hot-cross buns varied
The same applied to the sale of Easter eggs, she said.
‘‘We do know some customers enjoy the ability to purchase their Easter treats early, as this means they can spread some of the costs of the celebration.’’
A Countdown spokeswoman said the supermarket chain sold ‘‘millions’’ of hot cross buns before Easter.
‘‘It’s not unusual to see hot cross buns on shelves in January . .. customers seem to love them, no matter the time of year.’’