Speaking at the launch of the Kingsmill Great White loaf today (March 7), AB category director Martin Garlick told a press conference the plant bakery sector was set to grow by 2.5% by 2017.
But sales of plant bread products would decline by a worrying amount in the same period, he warned.
Consumers had long been ditching regular white sliced bread in favour of other foods as a result of negative health claims, which was damaging the category, he said.
1.5g of fibre per slice
However, the Great White loaf, which contains 1.5g of fibre per slice – around the same as wholemeal bread – could bring consumers back to white bread, Garlick added. “If we do nothing, then white bread will decline [in sales] by 20%.”
People were concerned about eating too much sugar, fats and salts, said AB nutrition and health development manager Nicky Gillett. “But seven out of 10 men and nine out of 10 women aren’t eating enough fibre a day,” she said.
British people (86%) don’t know how much fibre they are eating daily a survey carried out by AB has shown. Eight out of 10 don’t know how much fibre they should be eating on a daily basis and 49% of British people don’t think or don’t know if they are eating enough fibre daily, the survey showed.
White bread had been ‘demonised’
White bread had been “demonised” by the press because of its associated low nutritional value, which lead some consumers to consider it to be as bad for them to eat as chips, said AB senior brand manager Lydia Freeman. However, people were eating wholemeal bread because it was higher in fibre, she added.
Kingsmill’s Great White loaf had twice the fibre content of regular white bread without a change to feel and taste and would “make white bread acceptable to eat once again”, said Freeman.
AB predicted the new bread would generate £120M in sales in the next three years, 26% of which would come from consumers new to the bread category, it claimed. The new bread would be promoted with a £6.7M marketing campaign, which would be rolled-out in full in April.
Meanwhile, Gillett said manufacturers had a role to play in providing products that were better for consumer health, “but at the end of the day it’s down to consumers what they choose to buy”, she said.
Fibre intake in figures:
- 25g – the recommended daily intake of fibre for British consumers
- 19.2g and 16.6g – the amount of fibre British men and women respectively consume daily
- 9 out of 10 Brits believe fibre is good for digestion
- 13% of Brits in the north east know how much fibre they eat, compared with 23% in the south
- 86% of Brits don’t know how much fibre they should be eating
- 49% of Brits don’t know if they are eating enough fibre