August 5, 2010

Small Victory: Whole Wheat Bread Sales Outpace White Bread in the Past Year

Finally: wheat bread sales outpace white bread!

An August 1, 2010 Chicago Tribune article covered bread sales in the past year, citing a Nielsen Co. report that for the 52 weeks ending July 10, wheat bread sales increased 0.6% to $2.6 billion as white bread sales declined 7% to $2.5 billion. White bread still leads in volume of loaves sold - but because whole grain and whole wheat breads cost more per loaf, their total sales came out on top.

The primary impetus for the boost in sales appears to be increasing consumer knowledge about the benefits and sources of whole grains. But there is obviously a lot more educating to be done...

This story's victim is Kendra Frost, a first-time single mom with her own small business who says, "I like the whole grain, but I usually try and go with the least expensive whole grain...I look for the thick pieces that you can see the grains on the top of the bread." 

Kendra - darling, you have fallen for the oldest trick in the book! Manufacturers LOVE to take (cheap) white bread, dye it brown & sprinkle it with grainy-looking stuff to make you THINK it's whole grain. It might have a speck of whole grain in the recipe, but the likelihood of that bread being 100% whole grain or 100% whole wheat is nil! 

The proof is in the Nutrition Facts panel and the Ingredients List. If your bread doesn't say at least 3 grams of dietary fiber per slice and if the first ingredient isn't Whole Wheat or Whole Grain Flour - put it back on the shelf! 

But congratulations to all of you out there who HAVE your learned your lesson and who are making highly refined grain processors think twice about littering our aisles with  worthless white bread!