Boring bread? Ditch bland ads and bite into the revolution

By Nick Mustoe, CEO of Kindred

- Last updated on GMT

For the first time ever 55% of the British public say they now prefer brown bread to white
For the first time ever 55% of the British public say they now prefer brown bread to white

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Bread and milk have always been natural indicators for what is happening inside the average household. Both are reliable dietary staples and both have the ability to inspire passion and excitement on a marketable level.

For the first time ever 55% of the British public say they now prefer brown bread to white – indicating a big shift in our taste for the whole grain. It seems that not only is the health message getting through, but the time is ripe for a bread marketing revolution. 

For two decades milk sales had been going downhill, but when Kindred launched the Make Mine Milk campaign in 2010 we rejuvenated a market that had become stagnant and boring. Suddenly teenage girls were drinking milk for the first time, inspired by a host of celebrity milk fans in high profile ‘milk tash’ ads across buses, newspapers and social media. 

The time is right to do the same thing with bread. 

Choice has exploded, why the bland ads? 

It used to be that families were offered a homogenous selection of white sliced bread. But go into any supermarket today – from upmarket Waitrose to budget friendly Co-op – and you’ll see a huge wealth of choice: nutty grains, artisan, organic and made with beetroot, olives, or herbs. 

The TV show British Bake Off has sparked a rise in sales of rye flour, spelt and dried yeast by around 50% - proving that it’s not just David Cameron who loves baking bread at home. And restaurateurs are even giving toast it’s time in the gastronomic spotlight, serving posh artisan toast in starters or as a luxurious treat in boutique cafes. 

Clearly we love bread in all its variations, so why is it that marketing for the product continues to follow the same bland formula? Bread has evolved from a commodity essential to a quality product – it’s high time the marketing reflected that. 

Quirky bread eats 

According to recent research from our Kindred 100 panel – 100 Brits of all ages, backgrounds and outlooks – we all have our little quirks when it comes to bread. Not only do 55% of the British public say they now prefer brown bread to white, but some 15% of us also call the final slice in a loaf the ‘heel’, a third cut their sandwiches into two triangles and, somewhat bizarrely, 8% don’t even cut them up at all. 

It’s never been a more exciting time to be a bread consumer, so why isn’t it being reflected in our marketing? Rather than relying on ‘half-baked’ advertising that barely scratches the surface of our passion for bread, now there is an opportunity to create a stimulating marketing revolution for one of Britain’s favourite foods. 

Nick Mustoe is chief executive of communications agency Kindred. Nick started his career at advertising agency, Foote Cone and Belding, followed by nine years at Lowe Howard Spink. In that time Nick worked across many clients including Tesco, Heineken, Whitbread, Vauxhall, Wicks, Weetabix, Bauer Publishing and Hanson Group Companies. Nick started his own agency, Mustoes Merriman Levy, in 1993, which he ran as an independent agency for 15 years, before merging with Geronimo Communications to become Kindred in 2009. Nick is currently chief executive and majority shareholder.

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1 comment

'Free from' breads are extremely boring and taste-free

Posted by Anna Jacobs,

They might be improving wheat breads, but unless you can eat maize/cornflour there is virtually no bread available for people with grain digestion problems, not just coeliacs but non-coeliac gluten sensitives like me who are forgotten or put in the too hard basket. I have to bake my own bread and I would much rather pay someone else to do that for me. Only, apart from Warburton's gluten-free Thins (which are lovely) and that ghastly Barkat and Energee bread, which taste of nothing, there is little on offer that doesn't contain maize/cornflour. Someone wake up to the market that is unsatisfied! Genius bread doesn't suit us all.

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