Dave’s Killer Bread (DKB) has always been a strong brand. When Flowers Foods, Thomasville, Va., acquired the business in 2015, it was the largest organic bread company in North America with annual retail sales of just under $150 million. At the time, DKB was primarily a West Coast brand, with nationwide frozen distribution through a national retailer. In 2016, Flowers took DKB national with the help of co-manufacturers and its distribution network. At the end of 2021 sales across all retail channels were estimated at $875 million. 

Flowers had several goals for DKB in its acquisition: growing its distribution nationwide and increasing household penetration. To do that, the company is focused on trialing the product to gain new customers while preserving the brand identity that makes DKB resonate with consumers. 

“The goal from the start has always been to preserve the unique intangibles of the DKB brand — killer organic products, exceptional quality, bold and authentic brand identity, and commitment to Second Chance Employment — while rapidly scaling up production and distribution,” said Cristina Watson, brand manager for DKB. “Making the ‘best bread in the universe’ is more than a slogan; it truly is an expectation. The growth since 2015 is a testament to the company’s unwavering support of this goal, from the leadership team all the way to our bakery partners at the many DKB bakeries across the country.” 

From the onset, Flowers saw the potential to carry DKB’s organic, high-quality brand to other bakery categories. The company launched bagels and breakfast breads in 2017, English muffins in 2019, hamburger buns in 2020 and snack bars in 2022. 

“We view our consumers as more than just shoppers but as members of ‘BreadHead Nation,’ and we want to keep them coming back for more DKB products across every possible segment,” said Dan Letchinger, senior vice president, growth brands. “We firmly believe the DKB brand has the ability to expand beyond the bread aisle, and the recent test launch of DKB snack bars suggests we are right on track when it comes to bringing the same DKB magic to other categories and eating occasions.”

All of this expansion, however, requires the support and operational expertise of the second largest baking company in the nation. 

This article is an excerpt from the August 2022 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on Flowers Foods/DKB, click here.