Thursday, February 03, 2011

Small Bites: Epic battle of the seed breads @killerbreadman

Epic battle of the seed breads

The rise of Dave's Killer Bread is one of the biggest success stories of the Portland-area baking scene in recent years, and clearly the competition has taken notice. Franz Bakery's Green Earth Baking line has just introduced Great Seed bread, which sounds so similar to Dave's Good Seed bread that sheer coincidence seems unlikely. Like Dave's Good Seed, Franz's Great Seed is certified organic, contains no animal products (agave stands in for honey), is studded with a variety of seeds and comes in a biodegradable bag. The breads have some differences. In Franz's favor, its version has 60 fewer calories per slice and half the fat, though the smaller slice size accounts for some of that. And it's worth commending Franz for making a healthier bread that's not loaded with high-fructose corn syrup, and that's baked in an eco-friendly way.

But Dave's bread trumps the newcomer in one crucial way. It's made with whole wheat, which gives it twice the protein and a slightly higher dose of fiber, while Franz's is made with refined flour. That's an important distinction, given how confused American consumers are about what makes a product truly whole grain. A recent study by General Mills indicated that only 16 percent understand that terms such as "enriched flour," "100 percent wheat" and "multigrain" don't necessarily mean a product contains whole grains.

Dave's Good Seed has a few other advantages: It's less expensive and Dave's tastes better, with a nuttier flavor and a more substantial body that stands up well to a slathering of sandwich spread.

In our book, that's the knockout blow.

-- Grant Butler, Oregonlive

NOTE: The word on the street is that Franz Bakery's wanted to buy Dave's Killer Bread a couple of years ago for a bargin basement price. Looks like Franz's management is paying the price now getting knocked around the market with a sub-par product.

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