Wheat Edges Out White Bread for First Time Ever

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REUTERS/Daniel Munoz

If a bread label says “natural” or “whole grain” on the label, shoppers are more likely to buy it, according to the Chicago Tribune.

According to a Nielsen study, wheat bread sales increased to $2.6 billion in the last year, while white bread sales declined to $2.5 billion, though white bread still wins in terms of overall volume.

Consumers are responding to constant messages about heart health, omega-3s and fiber. This new health consciousness allows companies to bump up prices of whole grain breads, and buyers don’t seem to mind. And for shoppers, it’s all about appearance, with one telling the Tribune she looks for the “grains on top of the bread” when making her purchases.

As for white-bread brands? They’re hurting. Sales for companies like Sara Lee and Wonderbread are down for the year, leading them to develop more healthy-seeming products.