BOISE, Idaho -- Albertson's here has completed its introduction of a new line of specialty in-store baked breads.
The seven-item bread line was first introduced in Florida stores in June 1996, and the rollout to all stores continued throughout last year, recently reaching stores in the Arizona market. Albertson's operates 816 stores in 19 states.
Consumer response to the line has been "outstanding," according to Jenny Enochson, the company's media relations coordinator. Enochson said a bakery consultant developed the seven-item line specially for Albertson's.
The chainwide bakery program "offers a variety of specialty breads baked fresh daily to provide our customers with the taste and freshness of home-cooked bread without the preparation time," said Enochson.
The specialty line has been the most successful addition to the Albertson's in-store bakeries since the introduction of the chain's "hot and famous French bread" program, introduced years ago, she told SN.
The rollout involved frequent sampling at all stores, she said, and the sampling activity continues.
Store-level sources at 10 stores reported breads selling briskly, and all stores were temporarily out of at least one type of specialty bread.
According to a store-level source in the Phoenix market, after northern Arizona-area stores introduced the specialty bakery program, the breads have been selling "extremely well so far."
The breads are baked daily in each store, the source said, and the stores bring in an outside sampler to showcase the breads.
The seven items in the line are peasant loaf, great plains bread, multigrain bread with flax seed, chili pepper bread, white rye loaf, granary loaf and savory tomato loaf. Each 1-pound loaf sells for $2.99.
Enochson described the peasant loaf as a traditional white bread, the great plains loaf as a whole-wheat bread, the granary loaf as a brown bread with rolled oats topped with sesame seeds and the multigrain loaf as German-style bread topped with sunflower seeds. The chili pepper loaf is a Southwestern-style bread with spices as well as chilies, she said, and the sun-dried tomato loaf contains basil and Italian spices as well as the tomatoes, she said.