When someone representing Nature’s Own contacted me last week, I assumed they were confused about what I write about. That has happened many, many times. Companies don’t pay attention and ask me to promote their gluten containing products. In this case however, Nature’s Own did know what I wrote about when they sent me the press release about the new gluten-free breads the company is test marketing in Atlanta, GA. That’s right – fresh – not frozen – not refrigerated – gluten-free bread is headed to Hotlanta! The breads will be at select Publix, Kroger and Wal-Mart stores in and around the Atlanta Metro area.
The Nature’s Own Gluten Free website should be live shortly, and a list of the stores chosen to participate in the test market will be listed there. At least that is what I was told. Needless to say, I’ll be headed to the nearest location to us on May 10th when the breads hit store shelves. So, by now you might be wondering (like I did) how in the world could gluten-free breads be stored on store shelves and not in coolers or freezers at the store. Well, the breads are made in a bakery in Thomasville, GA and will be shipped up to stores several times a week. The shelf life is only five days so I’d assume it should be frozen if it’s not eaten in that time frame. According to the information I was given. the breads are made in a gluten-free facility even though it says “wheat free” in the press release.
There are two breads being produced – “Extra Fiber White” and “Healthy Multi-Grain”. Neither contains artificial preservatives or flavors or high fructose corn syrup. According to the brand manager, the bread is not only gluten-free but soft and delicious too. But of course, gluten free consumers will be the judge of that. Gosh, I sort of can’t imagine what it will be like to see gluten-free bread on the store shelves. Hopefully, if the breads are stocked in the gluten bread aisle, they will be on the top shelf to protect from cross contamination issues. And they need a glaring sign that denotes the presence of the gluten-free bread in that area. Many gluten-free consumers avoid the normal bread aisle. There are mixed households (some gluten-free and some glutenoids) so those shoppers would see the new bread – hopefully. People that buy gluten bread and have gluten-free friends and family would also likely help spread the word about the Nature’s Own gluten-free bread.
Anyone who has picked up a loaf of gluten bread at the store might have noticed that there are many not so healthy things in many brands. Publix makes a killer bakery gluten bread that has an ingredient list as long as my arm. Well over 70% of the ingredients are words I can’t pronounce or don’t understand. Until you start reading ingredients, you just don’t realize how much fake food is in the food supply. We thought we were eating fairly healthy before my celiac diagnosis. When we cleaned out the pantry – we found out that we were not eating nearly as clean or as healthy as we’d thought. We did however, eat Nature’s Own gluten bread at the time, due to the nutritional value it offered.
Here is an excerpt from the Nature’s Own press release:
“Gluten is common in many every day foods,” says Evette O’Connor, registered dietician and Nature’s Own sandwich chef. “That’s why people on gluten free diets must be very focused and careful about what they eat. Now that Nature’s Own Gluten Free bread is available, those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity can once again walk down the aisle of their local grocers and pick up a loaf that meets their strict dietary needs.”
As an industry leader, Nature’s Own stepped forward with the fresh Gluten Free loaf to provide options for all consumers who enjoy bread – one of the most prevalent staples in American diets. “We recognized the challenge that consumers on gluten free diets face and developed a bread that’s not just gluten free—it’s fresh, soft and delicious, too,” says Sherry Harper, brand manager, Flowers Foods.
Nature’s Own Gluten Free bread is produced in a wheat-free bakery. Available in two varieties, Extra Fiber White and Healthy Multi-Grain, Nature’s Own Gluten Free bread is sure to be a favorite with any gluten sensitive consumer. Gluten Free bread is 100% natural and contains no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors or high fructose corn syrup. Cholesterol and trans fat free, these loaves contain eight grams of whole grain and three grams of fiber per slice.
The bread is being introduced in select Atlanta Publix, Kroger, and Wal-Mart stores in 20 oz. packages; suggested retail price is $5.99.
This amazing news from Nature’s Own seems too good to be true, but the breads will hit select store shelves here on May 10th. That is next Monday. There might be a limited supply due to the short shelf life o the breads. The company doesn’t really know how many loaves are needed per store so maybe they’ll send plenty of stock and maybe they won’t. We know that the Atlanta gluten-free market is one to be reckoned with and this is our chance to prove it. If the test market goes well, Nature’s Own plans to roll out the gluten-free breads nationwide!
**You can read my full review of the new breads here.
UPDATE 5-17-11: Nature’s Own discontinued their gluten-free breads in the Fall of 2010. There was too much spoilage in stores so the company pulled the program and is not currently working on introducing anymore gluten-free bread. This can serve as an example for other companies to do their research about the gluten-free market before jumping into it. When I asked questions about future distribution plans and other things when the bread rolled out last summer, the company didn’t really have any answers. It didn’t seem like they had a well laid out plan at all which apparently turned out to be the case.