As one of the more popular varieties of sandwich bread, honey wheat is a gateway bread to whole grain. Its smooth texture and sweet flavor make it an easy transition for consumers who’d shy away from the bitter flavor of whole grain but still want to move beyond traditional white bread. Dave’s Killer Bread, Milwaukie, OR, saw this growing interest in the market and its own social media community and decided to answer with a spin on this favorite flavor.

“Before we even started the product development process, we asked our Facebook fans, who we call ‘Killer Bread Head Nation,’ what new bread style they wanted to see from us,” said Dan Letchinger, product manager. “The response was nothing short of phenomenal. The majority of our 90,000-strong fan base wanted a honey wheat bread.” 

Of course, the bakery intended to create its own version on the popular product, honey wheat bread the “DKB way,” according to Mr. Letchinger. This meant incredible texture, bold flavor, a powerful nutrition story, US Department of Agriculture (USDA)-certified ­organic and Non-GMO Project Verified.

“Our Seeded Honey Wheat bread is the first USDA-certified organic and Non-GMO Project Verified honey wheat bread on the market,” Mr. Letchinger said. “When we set out developing this product, one factor stood out above the rest: This bread has to taste like it was actually made with honey.”

The bakery makes each loaf with almost four tablespoons (3 oz) of USDA-certified organic and Non-GMO Project Verified honey and includes sunflower seed inclusions and rolled wheat topping. Not only does the loaf contain certified-organic and non-GMO ingredients, but each slice delivers 5 g each of protein and fiber for $5.79 per 25-oz loaf.

The bakery hopes the sweet honey flavor and seeded texture will appeal to a variety of consumers, including moms wanting an organic and GMO-free honey wheat bread for their kids and everyday bread eaters seeking a different type of high-protein, high-fiber bread.

The new flavor of bread required minimal changes to the bakery’s production line. Dave’s Killer Bread added a 2,000-lb bulk honey tote system with an automatic pump to deliver all that honey into the dough.

The bakery rolled out the new bread in the Pacific Northwest and Western states through retail stores such as Fred Meyer and King Soopers. Mr. Letchinger said the product will soon be available in Safeway stores in the Western states. Dave’s Killer Bread celebrated the launch with samplings, couponing and introductory pricing at selected Pacific Northwest retailers.