How Wonder Bread has survived competition and the fall of white bread

With an more and more health-conscious U.S. inhabitants and a bread business that appears immensely completely different from what it was only a few a long time in the past, it might come as a shock that Wonder Bread remains to be round.

In truth, it makes up a large portion of its father or mother firm Flowers Foods’ general portfolio, alongside Nature’s Own and Dave’s Killer Bread, Flowers Foods’ two hottest manufacturers.

“Typically, when a model has been round for a very long time, the default assumption from customers is that this model has to have a sure stage of high quality, in any other case it would not be round for 100 years,” stated Stephens fairness analysis analyst Jim Salera.

From January to mid-August 2023, based on knowledge from Circana and Stephens, the model’s gross sales surpassed $300 million, and about 55 million loaves of Wonder Bread had been offered. Wonder Bread’s 2022 gross sales totaled $484 million

“We have seen Wonder really achieve a reasonable quantity of market share — about 20 to 30 foundation factors plus or minus — versus pre-pandemic,” stated Consumer Edge analyst Connor Rattigan.

Nonetheless, these numbers are a fraction of what they as soon as had been. In the first half of the twentieth century, white bread accounted for as a lot as 30% of the American weight loss plan.

The rise of industrial white bread mirrored World War II-era fears of immigrants, many of whom owned small bakeries at the time.

Factory-made bread was touted as clear and “untouched by human arms.”

“It’s a time once you see newspaper headlines saying, you recognize, harmful bakeries menace the metropolis and germs lurk in your bread. And there’s all this type of big fear-mongering about harmful bread from small bakeries — besides once you look, nobody’s really getting sick or dying from bread,” stated Aaron Bobrow-Strain, professor of politics at Whitman College and creator of “White Bread: A Social History of the Store-Bought Loaf.”

By the Nineteen Sixties, consuming entire grains was an emblem of the counterculture. 

“Industrial Wonder Bread-type bread was every little thing that the counterculture was towards. It was company. It was chemical. It was bland. It was white. And so it was basically the institution or ‘the man’ in bread type,” stated Bobrow-Strain.

But throughout the following decade, Americans put a extra concerted effort into consuming more healthy, and entire wheat bread started to grow to be an integral half of their weight loss plan.

Since then, that change in bread buying conduct has grow to be much more pronounced: Healthier alternate options and artisan breads now dominate the market.

While Wonder Bread has considerably fallen out of favor, individuals do nonetheless eat white bread, and Wonder Bread stays a worthwhile half of the Flowers Foods portfolio.

Watch the video to learn more.

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