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    Fresh Product Trends: Going With the Grain

    Whole grain, whole wheat and gluten-free products are on the rise among in-store bakery officials, according to latest installment of Progressive Grocer’s 2010 annual Bakery

    Whole grain, whole wheat and gluten-free products are on the rise among in-store bakery officials, according to latest installment of Progressive Grocer’s 2010 annual Bakery Operations Review.

    To help grocers capture a bigger slice of the action, several leading bakery suppliers, including Rich Products Corp. (Rich’s), will showcase their latest lines of all-natural, heart healthy whole grain breads and rolls at the upcoming IDDBA show in Houston.

    “This is a major, nationwide launch,” said John Furey, senior marketing manager for Buffalo, N.Y.-based Rich’s. “Our new breads and new sandwich and dinner rolls provide a solution for our in-store bakery customers who have been asking for a greater variety of whole grain products. In addition to being heart-healthy, they’ve all passed extensive sensory tests with flying colors, so they really deliver on great taste.”

    Rich’s currently sells dozens of whole grain bread products, but its new line — which will prominently display both the stamp of the Whole Grains Council and the heart-healthy designation — offers additional value in terms of better-for-you ingredients and protein, notes Furey.

    Poising to roll out the new products in two phases — breads in May and rolls in August — Rich’s whole grain breads and rolls will offer a variety of flavor profiles such as Oatmeal Crunch, Ancient Grain, Italian Heartland and Apple Crisp.

    For some time, consumer demand has been trending away from white breads and rolls toward more healthy grain products, added Furey, noting that only a decade ago, wheat and grain breads accounted for about 10 percent of commercial bread sales. “Today, that figure is approaching 40 percent. But in-store bakeries have lagged behind,” with only about 10 percent of the breads and rolls being grain-based, primarily because of lack of availability.

    “We’ve put together what we consider to be the perfect frozen dough recipe,” said Furey. “Retailers are looking for additional health-and-wellness options, and these products meet that need. We’re proud to offer one of the most comprehensive lines of whole grain breads and rolls in the industry.”

    To support the program, Rich’s new products will come with a turnkey promotional program. The campaign, headlined with “Natural Grain Goodness: Better for You Any Way You Slice It,” includes a complete set of attractive graphic labels containing all of the important nutritional information, including the stamp of the Whole Grains Council and the heart-healthy claim. Eye-catching POS materials will include colorful display merchandisers, header signs, counter cards, shelf tags and consumer brochures.

    “Today’s consumers are very health-conscious,” observed Furey, “and the demand for tasty, healthy foods is escalating. Our new line of whole grain breads and rolls will allow our in-store bakery customers to capitalize on this trend.”

    For more information, visit http://www.rich.com/.

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