Warburtons has unveiled a new Pulses & Seeds Batch loaf to tap consumer interest in plant protein.

The bread is baked with a blend of 11 pulses, seeds and grains – including chickpeas, red beans and yellow lentils – and is rich in protein and fibre. Topped with oats, malted wheat flakes and sesame seeds, the wrapped loaf has also been batch-baked for a softer slice, said Warburtons.

The loaf is sold exclusively in Asda currently, but is due to roll out into other stores. Available in both a 400g and 800g format, the Pulse & Seeds Batch launch will be supported by TV advertising in April.

“We are continually looking for ways to stay on top of consumer trends and expand our range to meet ever-changing consumer needs,” commented Darren Littler, innovation and product marketing director at Warburtons.

“Knowing that plant protein is on-trend, we wanted to create a nutritious loaf packed full of pulses, seeds and grains.”

The firm has previously expanded its wrapped bread range to cater for new consumer demands, releasing a wholemeal toastie loaf, gluten-free Tiger Bloomer and its first wrapped bloomer over the past year.

Consumption of pulses has grown by 17%, according to a recent report from research firm Kantar Worldpanel. Naturally rich in protein yet low in fat, increased pulse consumption ties into larger food industry trends relating to consumer health concerns.

Worth £234m, the seeded bread segment has seen strong growth relative to the declining wrapped bread category – nearly two-thirds of seeded bread growth is incremental to wrapped bread, according to a report from Kantar.

Subscribers to British Baker can read our report on the healthy breads market here.