With the bread industry surging to more than $20 billion in annual revenue, the popular food remains a staple in the average Americans’ daily diet—to the tune of more than 53 pounds of bread per person per year. But the overlying problem still exists: it’s the wrong kind of bread.
To address the issue, Great Harvest Bread Co., which makes bread fresh-milled from whole grains every day at its more than 200 bakery franchises around the country, has announced the return of the National Bread Challenge for the second straight year. Timed to take place during November’s National Bread Month, consumers can bring in an unopened loaf of the processed, store-bought bread they have at home and receive a free, hand-made loaf of any Great Harvest Bread.
- The challenge will take place during store hours at participating Great Harvest Bread nationwide locations from November 3-11. All unopened store-bought bread loaves will be exchanged on those dates only for a loaf of fresh, hand-made Great Harvest Bread.
- As usual, any bread not sold by Great Harvest within 24 hours will be donated to local food banks and charities, along with every loaf of trade-in bread.
- Consumers are encouraged to share their National Bread Challenge experiences on social media using #BreadSwap.
Since 1976, Great Harvest Bread bakeries make bread from scratch with whole grains shipped directly as wheat berry from select farms in Montana’s Golden Triangle. Every day flour is milled fresh from the wheat berry at each local Great Harvest bakery. Generally a five-hour process, the baking begins every day as early as 2:30 a.m. Every loaf is kneaded by hand, baked, and served fresh to all guests who enter at all three dayparts—breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
According to Great Harvest Bread Company CEO Mike Ferretti, while fresh milling wheat has become a recent trend in the bread industry, this has been an essential, non-negotiable Great Harvest Bread practice since its inception in 1976. The National Bread Challenge is a way for new customers to experience what the company stands for: “Bread. The Way it Ought To Be.”
“We had tremendous turnouts and responses for the National Bread Challenge last year and we knew we had to bring it back again this year,” Ferretti says. “Our milling process is what sets our bread apart from the processed food that people have unfortunately gotten used to. We mill flour from fresh wheat berry every day and use pure, simple ingredients without nitrates or preservatives. Our breads not only taste better but they are also better for you.”
Company President Eric Keshin says the idea behind the National Bread Challenge is to allow consumers’ taste buds to decide if they should abandon the same processed bread they’ve settled on for decades.
“We will once again put our money where your mouth is,” Keshin says. “People are settling for processed bread and we know that once they taste our bread, they won’t go back.”