Atlanta- based Blimpie is introducing whole-grain wheat bread in its restaurants beginning in January 2006. Developed exclusively by General Mills for the sandwich chain, the new whole-grain wheat bread will replace the traditional wheat bread currently served at all Blimpie locations.

Whole-grain foods are part of the new U.S.D.A. dietary guidelines which recommend consuming at least three servings of whole-grain daily to maintain health and good nutrition. A Blimpie six-inch whole-grain bread roll equals one full serving (16.8 grams) of whole grain, and a 12-inch whole-grain bread roll equals two full servings (33.7 grams) of whole grain, as recommended by the U.S.D.A. Whole-grain foods—which provide vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, antioxidants, fiber and other nutrients—have been shown to have an important impact on weight management and in reducing the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and some cancers.

According to the Whole-Grains Council, sales of whole-grain bread have increased 18 percent since the new dietary guidelines were introduced a year ago. Blimpie claims to be the first national chain in the quick-service sandwich category to switch to whole-grain wheat bread.

“Ordering a [sandwich] on fresh-baked whole-grain wheat bread provides a healthy choice for our guests, ” says Mark Mears, chief marketing officer for Blimpie International. “Consumers want to eat healthier and take better care of their bodies.:

Blimpie restaurants are highlighting the new whole-grain wheat bread as an option during its ‘Hot Classics’ promotion from January 1 through April 30, 2006. The new whole-grain wheat bread and ‘Hot Classics’ offer will be supported by Blimpie International via a fully integrated multi-media campaign, including broadcast, print advertising, in-restaurant merchandising, and local restaurant marketing activities.

News, Blimpie