Bread is the most-important category in the baking industry—but also one of the most-challenging for building appreciable growth. For the 52 weeks ending November 4, 2018, the fresh bread and rolls category grew 0.13 percent in dollar sales to $13.4 billion, per IRI, Chicago.
IRI breaks the category into four segments. Fresh bread was up 0.23 percent to $9.1 billion. Several of the top 10 companies operating in this segment saw moderate gains for the year: Grupo Bimbo grew 0.69 percent to $2.5 billion, Flowers Foods grew 3.53 percent to $2.0 billion (likely thanks to its Dave’s Killer Bread brand), Lewis Bakeries grew 2.95 percent to $184.0 million, Pan-O-Gold Baking Co. grew 4.76 percent to $99.8 million and H&S Bakery grew a healthy 14.72 percent to $98.8 million.