Specialty breads rising
Simple sliced bread has long been a daily staple, but shoppers are snubbing it for more expensive, healthier or specialty bread products, supermarkets and manufacturers say.
Despite the trend, bread sales across the board are down, reflecting competitive discounting.
Countdown spokesman Luke Schepen said it was not seeing growth in the bread category, with consumers switching between products rather than buying more.
Foodstuffs spokeswoman Antoinette Shallue said wholemeal, wheatmeal and white breads appeared to be in decline, but healthier wholegrain breads such as Vogel’s and Burgen were showing strong growth.
New products such as low-carbohydrate Freya’s Sandwich Thins, and Tip Top Super Soft Oatlicious and Molen-berg’s Hidden Grains – grain breads disguised as white breads for children – were finding favour, while sales of specialty bread products such as wraps, Turkish breads and paninis, and muffins and crumpets were also increasing.
But a market analyst said supermarket bread sales by unit were down roughly 3 per cent for the year to August, and values had fallen a larger 6 per cent or so due to discounting.
Sales of proprietary breads – from the big manufacturers – were down about 1 per cent in volume, and 4 per cent in value. Shallue said demographic changes could be the cause.
‘‘Less traditional lunch options are being consumed as customers branch out to more ethnic foods such as sushi.’’ Overall sales indicated consumers were making healthier choices when buying bread, she said.
Goodman Fielder bread category marketing manager Natalie Innes said wraps were the fastest-growing segment in the New Zealand bread market, with 26 per cent growth in sales value in the August year. Consumers were looking for something different for dinners and lunches, and wraps could be used in Mexican-style meals as well as a sandwich substitute.
HASTINGS NEW WORLD:
Pam’s white toast $2.49.
Nature’s Fresh wheatmeal bread $3.99.
Freya’s Sandwich Thins $4.99.
Burgen Gluten Free bread $7.81.
Tip Top Supersoft Toast $3.95.
Tip Top Oatlicious toast $4.29.
Molenberg Hidden Grains $4.35.
Vogel’s Gluten Free bread $7.99.
NB: Standard prices, not specials