The Sprouted Seven-Grain bread, which recently received non-GMO verification, will be available for $7 for a three-pack at Costco. Usually retailing at $4, consumers can see more than a $1.50 savings when buying this bread in bulk from Costco.
James Marino, owner of Angelic Bakehouse, told BakeryandSnacks that 10 Costco locations in Wisconsin and Illinois now carry the bread, with more to come soon.
The product is made from sprouted grain mash, with seven different types of grains brought together in the bread. Marino said the bread does well with the Millennial crowd and healthy eaters.
BMO Capital Markets analysts have stated that Costco is on track to surpass Whole Foods as the largest organic grocer in the US, Angelic Bakehouse noted. Marino said the store has proven that they can be “a great way to bring unique products to the masses.”
“Our product is something the mainstream masses are very interest in,” Marino said. “It’s not just a fringe healthy product. Costco is a great retailer to validate that.”
Marino said he and his wife bought Angelic Bakehouse, which has been open since 1969, in 2009. When they first started, the company had sales of $1m. Now, the company has grown tenfold to $10m in sales and hugely expanded.
With the large demand for healthier bread, he sees Costco as a great opportunity to grow even larger.
“Costco has proven to be excellent in their exception of stocking the shelves really well and keeping the product available,” he said. “That’s our criteria for anybody. We’re working with retailers that can keep the product on the shelf.”
“It sounds really simple,” Marino continued. “In the product category such as ours, it’s a perishable and fast turning product and it moves a lot of faster on the perimeter of the store. That’s our biggest challenge is getting store personnel to stock to what we’re capable of selling.”
Marino believes this kind of bread becoming popular is more than just a temporary trend, but a movement toward healthier eating.
“Any of the old commercial bread that is processed white flour, is losing market share to these new [healthier breads],” he said. “It’s really an attribute of the wave of the younger generation including Millennials. They want more premium products, more craft product. They’ll reject some of the cheaper products.”
Aside from health benefits, Marino sees his bread having a taste advantage over competitors, something he said is necessary to thrive on the market.
“At the end of the day, you can check off all the boxes in health and wellness, but if it does not taste good, consumers will not stay with you forever,” he said. “At the end of the day, people are unwilling to sacrifice flavor for an indefinite period of time. That’s our primary tactic at Costco is to do sampling, because the product does taste good.”