Roman Meal returns to rustic roots

by Lucy Sutton
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As the company celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, Roman Meal Co., Tacoma, WA, introduces 100% Whole Grain Rustic Italian bread. Made with olive oil, the bread marries the heartiness of whole grains with the popular Italian bread flavor.

“Roman Meal wants to make it easier for consumers to add whole grains to their daily lives, so it made sense to provide a whole grain alternative for the growing Italian white bread segment,” said Steve Buckholdt, vice-president, quality assurance and regulatory, Roman Meal. “This is a smooth, great-tasting, whole grain Italian bread that carries 67% of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans’ daily recommendation of whole grains per serving.”

Carrying a Heart Healthy claim on its packaging, the bread also contains 40% less sugar than regular wheat bread at 2 g per 2-slice serving as well as 30% less sodium than regular wheat bread at 230 mg per serving. Each serving provides a good source of fiber and vitamin D.

“Roman Meal’s target consumer is a health-conscious woman over the age of 50,” Mr. Buckholdt said. “This product is particularly targeted to her, as well as Italian bread users who want a great tasting and more nutritious loaf of bread.” 

Made fresh by Schmidt Baking Co., Baltimore, MD, Roman Meal 100% Whole Grain Rustic Italian is now available in select stores in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, northeast Virginia, northeast West Virginia and northeast Pennsylvania for a suggested retail price of $2.99 per 20-oz loaf. It will be available from all Roman Meal licensees, according to Mr. Buckholdt.

To entice consumer trial, the company offers customized in-store displays that feature the product’s benefits and a recipe for Italian flatbread pizza. Roman Meal also distributed a 55¢ off coupon with full-page advertising in publications as well as social media posts.

“Italian bread is a growing segment among most other bread segments, and we found there weren’t many whole grain Italian breads on the market, so we wanted to give consumers a healthy, great-tasting alternative,” Mr. Buckholdt said. “We expect the product to generate significant consumer interest because it combines the best attributes of Italian bread and whole grain nutrition, all under the trusted brand of Roman Meal.” 

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