Consumers are just beginning to recognize bread as a source of Vitamin D.

That’s according to an Angus Reid Survey conducted during the third week of September for Montreal-based Lallemand.

In recent years, bakers have started rolling out new bread products that boast they’re a source of Vitamin D on their packaging. However, only a small percentage of consumers currently recognize bread as a common source of Vitamin D, especially compared to other product groups.

In fact, only 10% of consumers perceive bread as a source of Vitamin D, according to the survey of 1,011 people across the United States. On the other hand, 72% of respondents associate Vitamin D with milk, followed by yogurt (38%), orange juice (24%) and cereal (19%).

The most important factors influencing consumer’s bread purchasing decisions (factors ranked either 1 through 5 by respondents) were taste (78%) and price (77%) followed by natural ingredients (53%) and fiber content (52%). This in turn is followed by ”good with other food” (39%), vitamin fortified (35%), low fat (30%) and low sodium (24%).

More than five times as many consumers say they would prefer to buy bread that is “naturally rich” in vitamins (56%) versus fortified (10%). More than half indicate that “natural ingredients” are one of the Top 5 factors influencing their purchasing decisions.

The most common health benefits that the respondents associate with Vitamin D are protection against osteoporosis and fracture risk (45%), cancer (19%), cardiovascular disease (18%), influenza (11%) and diabetes (10%).

Lallemand notes that it makes its bakers yeast a natural source of Vitamin D. Lallemand/American Yeast systematically converts part of the natural sterols in the yeast to Vitamin D by exposing its yeast to light, still allowing the yeast to keep its leavening and flavor contributions intact, according to the company.

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