Bread and rolls seem to sell better when they are positioned as a component that enhances the broader meal experience, said Tom Vierhile, innovations insights director for market research firm Canadean. Maybe this is why artisan as well as frozen and par-baked bread manufacturers continue to thrive while the bread aisle seems to struggle.
In a 2014 survey, Canadean found that just 11% of Americans said they “often experiment with buying new products” when it came to packaged bread.
“Bread was the second lowest category of more than 30 categories surveyed for this question,” Mr. Vierhile said. “Only milk, with a 10% response, was lower.”
On the other hand, “pre-packaged sandwiches” ranked as the second highest food category for novelty and innovation mentioned in the survey. Specifically, 28% of consumers said they “often experiment with buying new products” when it comes to pre-packaged sandwiches.
“There seems to be something of a disconnect between the two,” Mr. Vierhile suggested.
Consumers, he explained, seem to perceive bread as much more of a value-add when it’s a component or part of pre-packaged sandwiches. However, when bread is marketed solely as bread, consumers perceive it as a commodity, especially when it comes to packaged products sold in the bread aisle.