To all Kinnikinnick Customers,
We are gradually introducing our new line of FREE FROM plant-based, allergy-free products. During the initial introduction, we had some feedback I would like to respond to.
“Why did we change the bread that was already one of the best products on the market?”
Our goal has always been to serve people with special dietary restrictions. We began with gluten-free products in 1991 for those with Celiac disease. Then parents with Autistic children asked if we could make dairy-free and soy-free bakery items as well. So we did.
Next, people with peanut and tree nut allergies wanted safe and scrumptious baked goodies they could share with family and friends. So we baked with them in mind too. We’ve dedicated our facilities to be 100% free of cross-contamination so anything that bears the Kinnikinnick label, you always know you’re safe.
Why were we concerned about egg ingredients in our products?
People with egg allergies can have anaphylactic reactions and the number of people with the allergy appears to be increasing. The number allergic to eggs is about the same as those with Celiac disease. They have just as hard a time finding food options that are free from egg ingredients as those with intolerance to gluten, dairy, soy, peanut and tree nut allergies.
We decided to eliminate egg ingredients so anyone affected by any of the major allergens could enjoy our bakery products knowing we provide the highest level of food safety possible. Two years ago we tasked our Research and Development team to change our recipes to serve this part of the allergy community.
What have we accomplished in free from allergen food items?
For years many of our best-selling cookies have been free from gluten and the Top 8 allergens. We’ll continue that trend as we introduce 6 new cookies over the next few months.
Our track record in taking eggs out but making even better products already shows. Over the past year, new Pizza Crusts, Flatbread, three varieties of waffles, three types of bagels, Pie Crusts, Tart Shells and buns are all new recipes that we’ve improved as we removed egg ingredients--making them Top 8 allergen-free. They’ve been enjoyed as some of the best you can get.
Why did we change the bread?
Removing egg ingredients from breads is the most difficult task. We set our R & D team the following objectives, which they achieved.
- Gluten-free breads can often have “holes” in the loaf. It’s unusual for consumers to find any in Kinnikinnick bread because we would inspect every loaf and discard about 15% of the old formula. With our new recipes, there’s few holes so no waste, which means we can continue to keep the price of our loaves the lowest on the market. It’s always been our goal to make products that are affordable.
- Gluten-free bread out of the freezer can be dry and crumbly. We designed our new breads to provide a soft texture that holds together when it thaws.
So what happened to the new Bread?
We did a considerable amount of consumer testing before launching the breads. Results from those tests were excellent –“ not crumbly, you can put spreads on and it doesn’t fall apart, toasts well, good flavour, comes out of the freezer in great shape”, were typical comments.
Unfortunately, as sometimes happens with new product launches, we experienced some unanticipated problems with equipment and possibly some ingredient flavour issues. Both texture and taste were affected in the earliest production runs for White Bread. The R&D team are using all resources to fix any issues and get the breads back to the standards established in the consumer trials.
The good news is that for three of the varieties – Multigrain, Whole Grain and Cinnamon Raisin Bread – we’ve had really good responses.
Baking special dietary food products is an immensely complicated business demanding the strictest food safety protocols and some of the most complicated supply-chain sourcing. Over the years we’ve always provided the highest quality offerings available. We’ll do so again over the coming days.
And lastly – “Why Vegan”
Our goal was to develop a “plant-based, allergy-free” line. “Plant-based” because of the growing interest in this category and changing attitudes on food ingredients. “Allergy-free” meant removing the last major allergen (i.e. egg ingredients) remaining in our product line. That this resulted in a “Vegan” line is great, even though that was never the main reason for the changes. It was always to give those with egg allergies safe food options, just as we do for everyone else. We’re thrilled those who chose to follow a vegan diet also love our products.
Please be patient as we finalise our FREE FROM gluten and top allergens line of baked goodies. This always means some tweaking of operations, but rest assured we’ll soon have things back to where all our customers agree that we make the “best speciality baked products in the marketplace”.
Should you have any comments, I’m more than happy to address them personally at [email protected].
Thanks for being part of our family.
CEO and President