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Longo’s resolves to stock Weight Watchers bread

Diet bread sales rise markedly in January, according to Nielsen data

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Recognizing that its customers are eager to atone for their holiday indulgences, Toronto-area grocery chain Longo’s has started carrying Weight Watchers’ line of diet-friendly breads.

Longo’s will sell a variety of Weight Watchers bread products, including tortillas, sliced bread, bagels, English muffins and buns. The pre-packaged products are available in white, whole wheat and multigrain varieties.

A recent shopper survey conducted by Longo’s found that more than 87% of its shoppers are interested in buying healthy foods, while nearly one-third (31%) are health-focused.

Longo’s spokesperson Rosanne Longo says that availability of the Weight Watchers breads will vary by store, depending on a combination of shelf space and how well those types of products sell in a given location. The products will be available year-round, she says.

“A focus on healthy, fresh and local defines our brand,” says Longo. “It’s what we’ve stood for forever, so adding these breads to our product line-up is a natural fit with what our customers are looking for.”

Sales of diet bread increased 12% – from 1.68 to 1.88 million units – between December 2015 and January 2016 according to Nielsen data. A total of 23.18 million units were sold in Canada during the 12-month period from December to November.

All of the new products are low in Weight Watchers “smartpoints,” making them suitable for customers who may be following the company’s weight loss regimen, says Longo.

Longo’s carries a range of Weight Watchers products, including meal replacement bars, with Longo telling Canadian Grocer they boast broad-based customer appeal.

“A healthy lifestyle is kind of top of mind with our customer base,” she says. “We’ve got customers who may be looking to balance their diet and have something as a low-carb option, to those who are on a weight loss program like Weight Watchers.”

Several of the country’s major grocery chains, including Loblaws, Real Canadian Superstore, No Frills, Your Independent Grocer, Walmart, Metro/IGA and Overwaitea, carry Weight Watchers bread products.

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