Early winter for Warburtons

By Catherine Boal

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Bread, Barley

British bread maker Warburtons is getting the jump on competitors
by targeting the Christmas market early with a new range of winter
loaves.

The winter fruit loaf will be sold from October until January and contains spices, currants, sultanas and cinnamon to hammer home the seasonal associations of traditionally warming ingredients.

Marketing surrounding the loaf is being heavily based on Christmas connotations, with the company, who are the UK's third biggest bread maker, emphasising a trend towards 'comfort' foods as cold weather begins to set in.

Also being launched this month is a Wholegrain Goodness loaf, designed to capitalise on the demand for healthier fibre-full breads.

The loaf contains wholemeal, sunflower seeds and malted wheat flakes and is claimed to be a significant source of dietary fibre.

Warburtons produce 2 million rolls, loaves and crumpets per day and recently relaunched its core range of wholemeal and wholegrain breads to incorporate 'healthy choice' advice banners on packaging, hoping to alert consumers to the health benefits.

Studies have found that wholegrain has a beneficial effect on heart health by lowering LDL 'bad' cholesterol and research from the US indicates that a diet rich in wholegrain foods can reduce the risk of a stroke by up to 40 per cent.

Consumers in the UK, where 9 million loaves are eaten daily, appear to be responding to the bread makers efforts to promote healthier alternatives to standard bread.

According to TNS Worldpanel's recent annual survey of best known British brands, Warburtons has risen from the tenth spot to eighth over the past year with a 17 per cent sales growth to between £350 (€517.5m) and £355m (€524.9m).

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