Manning a booth at the 2015 Natural Products Expo West show featuring slogans such as 'Bread is Back', CEO John Tucker told FoodNavigator-USA that the growth of the Dave's Killer Bread brand – best known for its organic, seed-packed loaves – had been “phenomenal” over the past two years.
Tucker, who took the helm in 2013, said: “We’re now available in 41 states compared with 14 states 20 months ago, and we expect to be in all 50 states by the end of this year and across all of Canada. We’re up about 50% on last year. And that’s because we understand our ‘why’, what makes us different and unique.
“First, we’re about killer taste and texture, bread that’s seeded all the way around and all the way through and consumers are absolutely loving it.
"Second, we’re about power packed organic nutrition, with no high fructose corn syrup, bleached flours or synthetic dough conditioners."
We’re about giving people second chances and turning that into positive, lasting change.
“But third and most importantly," he said, "We’re about giving people second chances and turning that into positive, lasting change. 30% of our workforce are people that have formerly been incarcerated and we want to change the way that society looks at them. We’re about making a real difference to people’s lives.
“But it’s not just about hiring them; it’s about giving them a living wage, respect, and the tools they need to make the transition [from prison], whether it’s managing a budget, finding stable housing, or conflict resolution and leadership skills.”
We know that whole grains are good for your diet
While a spate of popular science books (Grain Brain, Wheat Belly etc) coupled with continued interest in the 'Paleo' diet (a hunter/gatherer-style approach to eating focusing on meat, nuts and berries) has popularized the notion that our bodies are not especially well adapted to eat grains, the scientific consensus is that grains, notably whole grains, can play a key part in a healthy diet, he said.
“We know that whole grains are good for your diet and that bread is part of a well-rounded balanced diet."
As for the development pipeline, expect new products, he said: "Consumers are coming to us and saying, when are you going to go beyond sliced bread? And so that’s what we intend to do.”