Australian Franchises

Research highlights most Aussies highly concerned by food additives

Written on the 22 November 2011 by Brumby

Research highlights most Aussies highly concerned by food additives

As many as 83 per cent of Australians aged 18 and over are concerned about additives or numbers in the food they purchase, with the unease extending beyond those with food intolerances to most of the population.

The national research, conducted for the Better Bread Report on behalf of Brumby's Bakery, found the numbers concern was not limited to any particular group.

In fact, of those surveyed, males are almost as interested in food that contains no numbers or additives as females (91% vs 94%)and those living in non-metropolitan areas are equally as interested as metropolitan dwellers (93% vs 93%).

Brumby's Pure BakeNow, an Australian chain- Brumby's Bakery -has developed a completely numbers free bread range, proving that numbers free bread is not only possible, but that there is no compromise in taste, texture or shelf life.

Australian dietitian and author of the Better Bread Report, Shane Landon, said when it came to the family staple of bread, the overwhelming majority (94%) of those surveyed said they would be likely to buy bread without additives or numbers.

"People are increasingly eager to understand what's in the foods they're eating, particularly everyday foods, and it appears that concern is driving the interest in numbers free bread," he added.

Despite the wide-ranging concern, many of Australia's leading white, grain and wholemeal bread brands contain at least one number.

Common numbers in bread are 471, 472e and 481 otherwise known as mono-and di-glycerides of fatty acids, diacetyltartaric and fatty acid esters of glycerol, and sodium stearoyl lactylate respectively. They are used as emulsifiers and stablisers.

"Up to 25% of the population believe they have a food intolerance*, but more than 80% of respondents were concerned about food numbers," said Mr Landon. "This appears to indicate general community uncertainty of numbers, rather than solely food intolerance concerns."


"Concerns about the unknown effects of food numbers, combined with the difficulty in isolating problem ingredients or foods may be enough reason for many people to reduce their consumption of numbers in food."

"Certainly more research is required to understand the long-term effects of consuming a combination of different food additives as most are tested in isolation."

Prepared as part of the Better Bread Report,  a market snapshot of more than 170 types of white, grain and wholemeal breads and rolls available from supermarkets and bakeries  found that every one of the breads and rolls contained at least one number, with some containing up to eight different numbers.

"While only a few of the bread products contained additives that may cause problems for some people, the ability to develop a completely numbers free range raises the question of why these additives are needed at all," said Mr Landon.

The new numbers free Pure Bake range applies to all white, grain and wholemeal breads and bread roll products that do not have an added food ingredient such as cheese or meats. The range is available in Brumby's stores across Australia.

Mr Deane Priest, National Operations Manager for Retail Food Group (owners of Brumby's Bakery) said they wanted to produce a completely numbers free range of bread and rolls.

"Brumby's has been free of added colours and flavours, as well as preservatives for about seven years now. The elimination of all numbers is the final step for us to offer customers a completely additive free bread range.  No numbers, no worries."


"Our biggest surprise in developing and testing the Pure Bake range was that removing the numbers had no effect on taste, texture or shelf life. Customers will be pleased to note that there is no impact on the Recommended Retail Price," said Mr Priest

Mr Landon said: "With bread playing such an important nutritional role in Australian diets, the introduction of a numbers free bread range provides a clear choice for the many Australians wanting to limit their intake of food numbers."


Download the full report by clicking the banner below:


Better Bread Report

The Better Bread Report was sponsored by Brumby's.

The consumer research was conducted by arnold & bolingbroke, 15-19 September 2011.  Respondents were all people 18+ years across Australia in metro and non-metro areas.  Total sample: 1010

Other references can be found in S Landon, Better Bread Report, November 2011


Issued on behalf of The Retail Food Group by Growing Daily Communications.  For further information please contact Jeanne La Bash-Lewis on 02 9126 9223 or 0411 718 910.


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