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Sliced bread

UK: Sliced loaf sales crumble as shoppers cut out carbs

The sliced loaf is being ditched by shoppers as they cut out carbohydrates in a bid to lose weight.

According to the Daily Mail, sales are down by more than £100m this year compared with 2014 – to £1.72bn.

The rejection of sliced bread is part of a wider move away from carbohydrates, with declining sales of potatoes, pasta and rice. It is also reflected in the falling popularity of sandwiches, with high streets offering alternatives including wraps and salads.

The sliced loaf came to dominate breakfast tables following the introduction of mass production in the 1960s.

In 1961 the Chorleywood bread process was developed, which used the intense mechanical working of dough to dramatically reduce the time taken to produce a loaf. However, the tasteless bread became so heavily processed, removing natural goodness, that vitamins and minerals had to be added back in.

According to analysts Mintel, sales of so-called half-and-half bread have suffered most – down 14 per cent.

Brown bread has fallen by seven per cent, from £314m in 2014 to an estimated £291m in 2015, and white bread is down 4 per cent, from £929m last year to an estimated £888m this year.

Mintel said shoppers are being put off sliced bread by high levels of carbohydrates and added sugar, with 56 per cent of consumers looking for bread products that do not contain additives or preservatives.
The research found one in three Britons say they limit consumption of packaged sliced bread to three times a week because they see it as unhealthy. The figure rises to four in ten among young women.

Mintel’s Amy Price said the popularity of diets that cut out certain food groups is having an impact on bread.

She added: ‘Wheat/gluten intolerance or avoidance is cited by one in five as a reason for not eating packaged sliced bread more often. This echoes the finding that half the people who report wheat/gluten avoidance state that it is as part of a healthy lifestyle rather than suspected intolerance.’

Other baked goods doing well

However, not all baked goods are suffering from shoppers’ attempts to be healthy. Sales of sweet baked goods rose almost two per cent from £615m in 2014 to an estimated £625m in 2015.

Sales of pain au chocolat rose by 10 per cent this year to £32mm and scone sales were up to £43mm – an increase of eight per cent.

And in contrast to prepared bread, home baking is surging in popularity. Sales of bakeware have soared by 55 per cent this year.

Source: DailyMail

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