We may still only just be recovering from our Christmas food comas, but supermarkets are already looking to the next big holiday, with hot cross buns seen on shelves less than a week after Christmas.
Coles was the first in the game, announcing that they would start stocking the doughy treats from December 28. However, customers on Twitter reported seeing them in stores as early as Boxing Day.
Coles Category Manager Freddie Hancock said many customers now expect to be able to munch down on a hot cross bun as soon as they polish off their Christmas leftovers.
According to a Coles spokesperson "Coles' hot cross buns have been very popular with customers since we rolled them out nationally on December 28, showing that for many people it's never too early to enjoy the delicious bakery treats."
Woolworths quickly followed suit, announcing on Facebook yesterday that they'd started stocking the treats.
They've also released a limited-edition hot cross bun flavoured ice cream, made with raisins, a hot cross bun flavour ripple and Australian cream.
Woolworths Head Baker, Ben Thompson said: "It's clear that many of our customers love getting their hands on hot cross buns as soon as they can."
"There's no doubt of their ever-growing popularity and we're taking it up a notch this year with the introduction of our new Woolworths Hot Cross Bun Flavoured Ice Cream. It's perfect for summer, perfect for sharing and is a perfect accompaniment when enjoyed with any of our traditional hot cross buns."
Woolworths sold more than 10 million hot cross buns last January alone.The supermarket chain sold 72 million buns in the months leading up to Easter.
Aldi caused a stir when it suggested serving hot cross buns with bacon in its latest catalogue released on January 1st. Aldi will be selling hot cross buns from January 9th, a spokesperson for the brand said.
Sorry everyone, Aldi is cancelled in 2019 pic.twitter.com/fPIF1Cfvip— Andrew (@egadheg) January 2, 2019
Customers' reactions to the early insurgency of the Easter treats have been mixed. Some were happy that they'd have more time to enjoy the spicy fruity rolls.
HOT CROSS BUNS ARE DELICIOUS. WHY DO PEOPLE CARE WHEN THEY ARE SOLD?— Daile Kelleher (@DaileKelleher) December 28, 2018
I am completely outraged that hot cross buns are available on January 3rd ,,,,,tasty, tasty hot cross buns....that I'm having for breakfast.....outraged....mmmm apple and cinnamon....outraged I tell you.— Seano (@SeanBradbery) January 2, 2019
...while others thought it was too early.
Hot Cross Buns should be illegal to sell outside of the month of Easter. It is wayyyyy too early right now 😓— Mitch McCarron (@MitchMcCarron) January 2, 2019
Coles got their hot cross buns out already. Isn’t Easter a religious thing and aren’t these buns tied to Easter. Excuse me if am wrong but is religion about squeezing money out of the masses? Very confused at this profit charged religious treat.— Denny DeVito (@Denny_Galati) January 2, 2019
And some were just fed up with the debate.
Seriously, if hot cross buns already being on sale is the biggest thing you’ve got to worry about - I want your life.— Carol Duncan (@carolduncan) December 27, 2018
Other Easter treats like chocolate bunnies and eggs have also been reportedly seen on shelves.