Not long ago, tortillas were viewed as the pinnacle of multicultural bread offerings, but modern flatbreads have now successfully infiltrated the mainstream — meeting consumer desire for both authentic products and multicultural eat-ing experiences.

Grecian Delight Foods, Elk Grove Village, IL, has long been considered the go-to source for restaurant gyro sandwich components. The company’s founder Peter Parthenis Sr. patented the vertical broiler for gyro meat and created the round pita used by many restaurants for gyros. Building on this success, Grecian Delight Foods developed a line of arti-san-style flatbreads for food service and retail, establishing itself as a 1-stop source for globally influenced flatbreads during the past five years.

The company’s One Republic brand flatbreads provide food service establishments a variety of offerings including pita, lavash, naan, wraps, focaccia-style bread, skinny buns and pizza crusts for use in multiple day parts and menu parts.

In September, the company partnered with Sysco Corp., Houston, TX, to exclusively launch its One Republic prod-ucts with its partner Sysco for its customers. After Jan. 1, the line will be available to other small and large distribution companies. The flatbread producer’s signature artisan-style lavash, naan, Italian herb focaccia flats and multigrain pita squares are also sold in retail outles along with its ready-to-eat microwavable sandwich, pita and gyro kits under the Opaa! brand.

“Grecian Delight wanted to offer customers one place for access to a variety of global flatbreads,” said Amy Fattori, marketing director, Grecian Delight Foods. “We’ve been building a flatbread product portfolio for the past three years and used that as feedback to fuel new and revamped SKUs to launch with the new brands.”
The food service offerings range in price from 5 to approximately 65¢ per piece depending on the size of the flatbread sheets. All new products are produced on existing equipment except for two grill-marked products, according to Ms. Fattori. Grecian Delight also offers low-sodium versions of its products. She cited growing customer interest in white whole-grain, multigrain and whole-wheat breads for use by schools and multiunit segments.

The launch also created an opportunity for the company to educate its customers on the history of the flatbreads and ways to use them in their menus. Ms. Fattori said the No. 1 question the company receives from its customers is, “What do I do with it?” In response, Grecian Delight Foods provides recipes for those who want to serve up an authentic eating experience along with a detailed description of the flatbread’s history.

“By providing turnkey and creative menu ideas, we are giving restaurant operators an easy way to capitalize on one of the hottest menu trends in a way that best complements their current menu and concept,” Ms. Fattori concluded.