When Oprah Winfrey says, “I love bread,” America listens. It’s just that simple.
Robb MacKie, our friend over at ABA, was recently interviewed for an article on The Daily Beast that centered on Oprah’s Weight Watchers commercial (and tweet) that launched earlier this year. In the article, he notes that bread sales spiked after Oprah’s declaration of affection (see “‘I Love Bread’: Oprah’s greatest—and most controversial—act yet”).
Yes, Oprah recently bought a stake in Weight Watchers. And yes, Weight Watchers sells bread. (Weight Watchers stock saw an initial jump after the Oprah commercial, but prices have since moderated.)
The gist here is that Oprah can undoubtedly influence trends, and hopefully this is a bellwether of better times for bread (which as a category has remained rather flat of late, with clean-label and better-for-you pointing toward growth potential; see our recent category analysis at “Bakers reinvent their breads to meet changing consumer trends, bolster sales”).
The next layer of the onion here is the nutritional story that surrounds bread. As bakers develop more breads with strong better-for-you positioning, more shoppers will internalize that not only is it OK to eat bread—as Oprah proclaims—but that it’s an essential part of a nutritious diet and loaded with essential vitamins and minerals, particularly when the formula includes good levels of protein and fiber, as well as a diversity of nutrition-packed grains and seeds.
With the right momentum, we can expect better days for bread ahead.