A BAKING phenomenon known as a “muddy bun” is taking China by storm and driving up global demand for butter.
The muddy bun, also known as “dirty dirty bread” or zang zang bao in Chinese, is best described as a chocolate croissant, according to Fonterra’s global food service marketing general manager Susan Cassidy.
In Fonterra’s latest Global Dairy Update, Ms Cassidy said the muddy bun had flaky chocolate pastry coated in rich chocolate ganache and was sprinkled with cocoa powder.
“It makes it impossible to keep your face clean while eating,” she said. “They are popular with celebrities who have taken to social media to share images of their muddy bun face experience.”
So strong has been the phenomenon, which debuted in the Chinese market last year, that people have queued outside bakeries for hours in freezing temperatures to buy a bun.
The product has spread to Malaysia and Singapore.
Dairy Australia analyst Norman Repacholi said a “Starbucks or coffee culture” rise in China had driven demand for dairy ingredients for baked goods and desserts.
He said this culture had expanded beyond major cities and was now present in Chinese “tier-two cities” as teenagers spent leisure time at shopping malls.
Global butter prices have been rising for the best part of the two years, with values hitting record highs.
Mr Repacholi said due to its high value there was a lot of volatility around pricing, with rates moving $US500-$US1000 a tonne with variances in milk flows and demands.
Butter is now at about $US6000 a tonne.