Imported pastries at Woolworths/Safeway

Woolworths clearly weren’t satisfied with importing “artisan” bread all the way from the other side of the Pacific (see my article here), but are also selling a diverse range of pastries imported from Europe. They’ve been doing for at least a few months, but I’ve been slow to write about it.

Interested in the (slightly underbaked) maple/pecan plaits, or the attractive hazelnut twists, or the Portuguese custard tarts at Woolworths/Safeway? Look carefully at the price label. Although I’ve noticed a change to omit the country of origin recently, this is what I was able to snap back in July.

I recognised the maple pecan plaits… I’d seen them in Danish supermarkets. So what are they doing here, about 10,000km away? While novel product is appreciated in our distinctly unnovel major supermarkets, I can’t help but wonder, yet again, WHY Australian businesses can’t supply product of at least similar middling quality, and WHY Woolworths is happy to source such product from overseas — if you’re going to buy egregiously imported stuff, you might as well promote the product as something special (at least then it would look like the importation was justified and it might motivate local businesses to do better).

Note that I don’t know if Woolworths is responsible for the importation or if a third party is bring this product in and wholesaling it.

And in case you’re interested, the plaits are very sweet and moderately pleasant, while the Portuguese custard tarts look like crap and are unlikely to be a happy experience.

4 thoughts on “Imported pastries at Woolworths/Safeway”

  1. About fifteen years ago, Roger Corbett had come up with a plan to centralise the warehousing and distribution of products through the Woolworths/Safeway supermarket chain. If my memory is correct, the project was finished in the late 90s, and this is the result of it. Not only has their distribution costs dropped, it also means they can source items worldwide, hence your pastries from Denmark.

  2. I’m stunned, and yet not surprised. The chain seems capable of just about anything these days. I note their latest ‘quality’ home brand pasta is for sale at an incredibly reduced price to the other brands on the shelf…because the packages are 485g not 500g, buyer beware. Still, they also had some great quality pasta (around at their ‘gourmet’ section, near the Maggie Beer products) at more than half price too ($1.99 for 500g). Pays to shop carefully as always.

  3. And I’m sure the maple pecan plaits recognised you too, Duncan 🙂

    Re bakery products, the one thing that cheeses me off is the apparent need to have Poilane bread airflown from Paris to wherever in the world you happen to be. Now I know some people like their breads with a couple of days on them, but to be honest, Poilane bread hasn’t been anything particularly special for quite a few years now, so I think importing it across continents is rather pointless.

    There you go, I’ve lumped Poilane bread with mass-produced Danish pecan plaits and faux Portuguese custard tarts.

  4. Just like the Artisan bread range, the danishes are imported frozen, in this case as un-baked pastry. They are baked fresh in-store daily.

    You get a genuine Danish pastry, baked fresh in Australia.

    And yes, the Portugese tart is made in Portugal and taste better than they look.

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