Progressive Grocer - August 2017 - 51

Bread

Grocery

Nicer Slices
Balancing consumers' concerns about health
and transparency, and their desires
for indulgence and fun flavors, could help
boost a mature category.
By Bridget Goldschmidt

H

ow has the supermarket bread aisle transformed over the past few years? Whole grains
have taken root there, along with such storewide trends as cleaner labels and more natural/
organic, gluten-free and non-GMO selections.
"Customers are still looking for clean ingredients," affirms
James Armendariz, category manager at Salt Lake Citybased Associated Food Stores (AFS), a retailer cooperative
supplying about 500 independent supermarkets throughout
Utah, Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, Montana, Oregon, Nevada
and Wyoming. "Simply put, the least amount of ingredients
on the label support the identity of this. High-fructose corn
syrup is out, and sugar is in. The more natural we can make
our products, the more likely the consumers are to buy them.
Whole grains are still important to consumers."
Further, according to Armendariz, "Our organics continue to grow [by] double digits every year across our company.
Consumers have responded positively to our offerings. In the
last year, we have come out with two new [bread] offerings,
in Honey Chia and Hemp flavorings." As for AFS' glutenfree breads, he notes: "This is always one of the first things
people compliment us on. Our GF products are second to
none and well recognized throughout the country."
Well aware of consumers' increased scrutiny of labels, suppliers are promoting their products accordingly. "All 58 varieties of
Pepperidge Farm breads, buns and rolls are free from high-fructose corn syrup, and contain no colors or flavors from artificial
sources," asserts Betsy Morreale, senior marketing director,
fresh and frozen bakery at Norwalk, Conn.-based Pepperidge
Farm, a Campbell Soup Co. brand that's now in its 80th year.
Overall, Armendariz notes: "We have a very robust and
expansive product line. It's streamlined and simple from a brand
perspective, but we offer a wide range of common and specialty
items. Depending on the demographics of the store or area, we
trend differently on select items."
AFS doesn't just depend on a great product lineup, however. "We promote and merchandise items from each category
on a weekly basis," says Armendariz. "We rotate items every
two weeks and run monthly promotions on some items. We
look for opportunities to participate in buy-and-save vendor
events, rewards programs, and grand openings. I think we
lead the way in innovation via off-shelf displays. These can be

The more natural
we can make our
products, the
more likely the
consumers are to
buy them."
-James Armendariz,
Associated Food Stores

August 2017 | progressivegrocer.com |

51


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Progressive Grocer - August 2017

Contents
Progressive Grocer - August 2017 - Intro
Progressive Grocer - August 2017 - CT1
Progressive Grocer - August 2017 - CT2
Progressive Grocer - August 2017 - Cover1
Progressive Grocer - August 2017 - Cover2
Progressive Grocer - August 2017 - 3
Progressive Grocer - August 2017 - 4
Progressive Grocer - August 2017 - Contents
Progressive Grocer - August 2017 - 6
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