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DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. -- Sara Lee Food & Beverage here said it has rolled out Soft & Smooth 100% Whole Wheat Bread, which the company described as "the first 100 percent wheat bread that provides families the taste and texture they prefer with the nutrition they need."
According to Sara Lee, the new bread could raise the consumption of whole grains in the United States by billions of grams annually if just a small fraction of wheat bread buyers buy it.
"Once consumers discover they don't have to compromise on taste, texture, appearance, or nutrition, they will move to Soft & Smooth 100% Whole Wheat, just as they did with Soft & Smooth Made with Whole Grain White bread," said Bill Nictakis, president, Sara Lee Food & Beverage's U.S. Fresh Bakery unit, in a statement. "Our goal is to educate consumers about 100 percent whole wheat breads and give them a tasty way for families to increase their whole grain consumption."
Of the 650 million traditional loaves of wheat bread baked in the United States in the past year, 477 million, or 73 percent, lacked 100 percent whole grain nutrition, according to IRI data. A recent nationwide survey commissioned by Sara Lee Food & Beverage of 1,000 mothers age 25-65 found that 73 percent of consumers wrongly identified their bread as 100 percent whole wheat when it actually has a nutritional makeup similar to regular white bread.
"Sara Lee has a track record of success in introducing new products because we listen to consumers and develop innovative products that do not ask them to compromise on taste," said Peter Reiner, v.p., Sara Lee brands, Sara Lee Food & Beverage. "With the introduction of Soft & Smooth 100% Whole Wheat Bread, we're poised to continue mainstreaming whole grain nutrition by offering great-tasting products that will please the whole family."