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Is White Bread Toast?

Is white bread toast?

New Lincoln University research shows the demise of the white slice may be looming, with concerns around its healthiness in the minds of many purchasers.

Lecturer in Business Communication, Sue Trafford, and Senior Lecturer in Marketing, Dr Sharon Forbes, conducted a survey in supermarkets to examine what consumers are actually buying when it comes to bread and how they are making their purchase decisions.

Bread consumption overall had reduced and many consumers appeared to be unsure about the healthiness of bread as a food. The researchers found around half of those surveyed thought that white bread was unhealthy. In addition, 80 percent of respondents perceived multigrain breads to be healthier than other options.

Bread consumption may be reducing “due to the wider array of alternative products now available for consumers to eat for breakfast or lunch (e.g. cereals, smoothies, sushi, salads, fast foods), or it may be that consumers have responded to messages they have heard and have chosen to reduce their consumption of bread” Dr Forbes said.

The findings did raise an issue.

“Bread remains a staple food product and one that is a source of many important nutritional ingredients that benefit human health,” Dr Forbes said.

“Perhaps nutritionists need to send a stronger message to consumers about the benefits of including bread in their diet,” Mrs Trafford said.

The researchers intend to next look at consumer purchasing behaviour around dairy milk and milk alternatives.


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