For years, the bread market has remained on the fringe of the organic movement, barely notching a 1% to 3% share in even the most health-minded communities such as Denver or Boulder, Colo., and throughout California. But maybe Flowers Foods’ pending acquisition of Dave’s Killer Bread (D.K.B.) indicates organic baked goods have gained traction among more consumers. Certainly, Flowers can provide the Oregonian baker with a greater, more efficient distribution channel.
The nation’s No. 2 baking company also will be able to bake D.K.B.’s products closer to market. When Baking & Snack featured D.K.B. in its July 2014 issue, the line was sold in select markets in 17 states throughout the West and Northwest, and the company had just began to branch coast-to-coast. First, it looked for regional wholesale bakers who could co-manufacture the products closer to market. Second, because the nutritionally power-packed loaves sell for around $5 each, going national didn’t mean the brand would be sold in every retailer or every market. Rather, D.K.B. compiled demographic, household consumption and supermarket scanning data to identify the “white spaces” in the market.
In some cases, the bakery took a retailer-by-retailer approach. The key involved “seeding the market,” which allows D.K.B. to selectively collaborate with potential customers who identify most strongly with the brand. While D.K.B. has been successful with those initiatives, the support of Flowers’ network will allow the iconic brand to quickly develop a more cohesive and efficient strategy in the organic bakery’s effort to establish a national presence with much greater market penetration.