Bread Industry in India

Topics: Bread, Wheat, Food Pages: 13 (4403 words) Published: April 3, 2013
Flatbreads stretch the bread category
As loaf bread sales decline, tortillas and flatbreads hope to become the greatest thing since sliced bread.| by Charlotte Atchley|
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For better or for worse, consumers seem to be eating less sliced bread. Sandwich bread still represents the biggest seller in the category; however, it also had the greatest loss in unit volume sales of any other segment in the bread aisle from 2006 to 2011, according to market research firm SymphonyIRI, Chicago, IL. Consumers appear to want something different, and tortillas and flatbread producers expect to fill that gap.“Generally speaking, from what I see, the bread market is declining in terms of soft breads because of all these other varieties,” said Jerry Chizick, vice-president and general manager, Handi Foods, Weston, ON, which manufactures flatbreads, bagels, thin buns, pitas, crackers, crisps and double-baked pita chips. This year, SymphonyIRI reported increased dollar sales for tortillas despite declining unit sales. Although tortillas are experiencing price increases this year similar to those impacting packaged bread, the category saw consistent dollar sales growth from 2006 to 2010. Tortillas and flatbreads have become mainstream in restaurants as consumers readily accept them as an alternative to conventional menu items. In 2006, McDonald’s introduced a snack wrap, a reinvention of its popular sandwiches with a tortilla instead of a bun. In 2008, Subway started offering flatbreads as an alternative to its freshly baked rolls. Today, flatbreads can be found on most casual and fine dining menus as well as a host of other establishments throughout the food service industry.As consumers try to reduce their caloric intake, they often turn to flatbreads, which generally have fewer calories and carbs because of their inherently thinner profile than their sliced-loaf counterparts. Flatbreads’ more malleable texture makes them a versatile, portable meal component with which consumers and restaurants can be creative.Tortillas: gateway flatbreadAs tortillas continue to flood the general market, they introduce consumers to other flatbreads from around the world. First gaining traction because of the growing Hispanic population in the US, tortillas have staked their claim as a staple for all consumers. “Initially, tortillas were looked at as an ethnic item. That was in the past,” said Alon Ozery, owner of Ozery Bakery, Inc., Vaughn, ON, which makes thin-sliced buns. “The fact that you see tortillas all over because of the Hispanic influence makes it easier for other flatbreads to be accepted and tried.”Even though tortilla sales have stalled after five years of growth from 2006-11, marketing research firm Mintel, Chicago, IL, shows in its report on bread that two-thirds of 2,000 survey respondents indicated that they use tortillas/taco shells. The majority of tortilla sales are still driven by the Hispanic population; however, that may be changing. According to Robin Tobor, director of marketing for Mission Foodservice, a division of Mission Foods, Inc. based in Irving, TX, the company’s biggest customers are not necessarily Hispanic restaurants. Tortillas can be easily globalized, she said, with applications across many different cultures’ foods. The term “flatbread” applies to a wide range of thin breads originating in all corners of the world — such as naan from India, pita from Greece and lavash from Armenia. “We’re exposed to all the multicultural foods, and now you have the various kinds of bakery products that go with these multicultural options,” Mr. Chizick said. Also, consumers are excited to try them. Mintel reported that 62% of primary or shared shoppers buy new types of bread just to experiment and 58% are interested in trying breads from other cultures and geographical locations. Most of this experimentation takes place in ethnic or quick-service...
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