Capitalising on the vogue for seeded breads, ingredients supplier Bakels’ low Glycaemic Index (GI) Multiseed Bread Mix has been one of the most successful launches in the company’s history, says MD Paul Morrow. He claims that its customers are profiting from the trend towards low-GI products and the point-of-sale promotion conducted by the firm.

And the brand is being endorsed by bakers around the country. Multiseed Bread Mix may be aimed at the healthy-eating market, but the reason it sells so well is its taste, according to award-winning Wrexham baker Dawn Van Rensburg. She is the sixth-generation family member to be involved in running Gerrards Confectioners in North Wales, which has 10 retail outlets and six custom-made sandwich and snack delivery vans, all supplied from the central bakery in Wrexham.

She claims that Gerrards’ success in its sixth generation is based on a reputation for quality. “Our family business is well-known for producing only the best. My husband Dirk started ‘Gerrards Direct’ quite recently to provide a direct delivery service of our products to company workplaces and it has been very successful, mainly due to the fact that people recognise our name and like our goods.”

Gerrards introduced multiseed bread about a year ago and it has already become the bakery’s top-selling bread line, accounting for 20% of wholesale bread sales and 13% of retail bread sales. And with the retail price of a 400g loaf at £1.24, Van Rensburg says she is making a healthy profit. “We’ve never had a single customer complaint over price – the product tastes good, which is what our customers have come to expect.”

With low-GI diets now having a major impact on the healthy eating market, Bakels mix means that bakers can produce low-GI bread with reduced salt, suitable for dieters and diabetics. By using the concentrate, bakers can also produce bread and rolls that will appeal to health-conscious customers while boosting profit margins, claims Bakels. “Gerrards is achieving a good price for a 400g loaf,” adds Morrow, “but some of our customers are selling bread [made with the mix] for as much as £1.40.”

While the product may be aimed at the health-conscious consumers, one Yorkshire baker is selling 1.2 tonnes a month of baked goods using the mix – from just one shop and a tearoom. Gordon Nicholson, the fourth generation of the family, now runs the business with his father David. “It has been a fantastic success,” says Nicholson. “Customers have been known to drive more than 20 miles from Leeds and Halifax to purchase low-GI bread.”

He puts the success of the mix down to a series of factors. “Firstly, we never launch a product unless our staff is 100% behind it, so we tried it out on them first and they loved the taste. That means they have recommended it to our customers and sales have soared.

Secondly, we made good use of Bakels’ point-of-sale material, which includes a leaflet explaining how low-GI bread may help consumers lose weight as part of a calorie-controlled diet.

And thirdly, it is proving extremely popular with students at the nearby sports college and with parents of schoolchildren for lunchboxes.”

As well as selling rolls, baguettes and 400g loaves, Nicholson’s has a thriving sandwich trade with tuna & sweetcorn, crab & prawn and ham salad being the most popular fillings.

Bakels says that more than one million bakery customers have now been given the facts behind low-GI bread, thanks to the company’s point-of-sale campaign. The promotion, entitled “Great taste, great waist”, explained how a GI diet works and how low-GI multiseed bread can contribute to that. According to Bakels, more than 1,300 bakery shops – most of which are in the craft sector – took advantage of the promotion and Bakels has now distributed more than one million information leaflets to support the campaign.

“It has been extremely well received in the craft sector,” adds Morrow. “It offers bakers a huge opportunity to capitalise on the GI trend. All the indications are that low-GI products will continue to grow in popularity.”

Bakels’ Low Gi Multiseed Bread concentrate contains pumpkin, linseed and sunflower seeds which, together with wheat bran and oat flakes, produce a darker-style bread with a coarse, open texture. The concentrate is used in a ratio of 1kg to 1kg flour and is available in 16kg bags.

Bakels is planning a new consumer campaign for the mix, due to break in the autumn.

What is the Glycaemic Index?

The GI ranks carbohydrates on how fast they raise blood sugar levels. A low-GI food is absorbed slowly, maintaining more even blood glucose levels.