Sainsbury’s unveiled a range of six ’artisan’ breads this week under its Taste the difference label.

Nick Townend, bakery category manager, told British Baker the launch coincided with customer demand for increasingly luxurious bakery items.

The breads, which are made by Le Pain Croustillant, are initially going into 102 Sainsbury’s in-store bakeries.

The range comprises five loaves at £1.69. These are: Raisin and Fig Bread, which includes dark rye levain and red malt flour; Rosemary and Rock Salt Focaccia, baked to a traditional Italian recipe, topped with rosemary and sprinkled with rock salt; a rye bread; Stonebaked Sour- dough Boule, which is a round, flour-topped loaf; and Six Cereal Stonebaked Bloomer - a blend of barley, maize, sesame, dark linseed, millet and oat flakes.

There is also a Stonebaked Baguette, which retails at £1.19.

Sarah Mackenzie, Sainsbury’s in-store bakery bread buyer, said: "Our Taste the difference range has shown strong growth so we went to look at artisan bakeries in France, spoke to French bakers and asked about their ’hero’ products. We then looked at how we could adapt them for the British market.

"The breads are made using a 24-hour sponge levain. A lot of work went into flavour levels and fermentation times. All the breads use premium ’maquette’ French flour from the Champagne region and are hand finished."

The breads will be merchandised in-store in a special wooden case, supported by point of sale material, she added.