Weston to bring back Brownberry bread

by Eric Schroeder
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HORSHAM, PA. — George Weston Bakeries, the maker of Arnold and Brownberry bread, said this week it will bring back the original recipe for its original Brownberry Natural Wheat variety to store shelves in the Midwest, effective June 11. The only change will be the name on the package: Arnold Natural Wheat, Original Brownberry Recipe.

George Weston changed the recipe earlier this year, after a large sampling of Midwest consumers revealed a preference for a softer and sweeter formula than the original Brownberry Natural Wheat variety. The company updated the formula by increasing fiber and eliminating high-fructose corn syrup.

Consumers in the Midwest, though, were not pleased with the final product.

According to George Weston, the company’s customer service department received thousands of calls and e-mails within weeks of the new bread hitting shelves.

"We received so many calls from consumers truly upset that we changed their bread," said Jennifer Hartley, director of bread innovation, George Weston Bakeries. "Consumers told us this bread was part of their lifestyle, an important part of their daily routine, and for them the new one did not stack up. We pride ourselves on listening to our customers, and said regardless of the testing we should bring the original back."

Beginning June 11 Midwest consumers will be able to purchase bread with the familiar recipe baked daily in the original Brownberry bakery in Oconomowoc, Wis. The change from Brownberry to Arnold is an effort to unify the sister brands under one name so people recognize the label around the country, George Weston said.

The Natural Wheat Original Recipe joins four other new Arnold Natural varieties: Health Nut, Flax & Fiber, Soft Wheat and 100% Whole Wheat.

"These breads have been received very well, especially the Flax & Fiber which is a truly unique bread, delicious with a substantial grainy texture in the Catherine Clark tradition," Ms. Hartley said. "Now there is something for everyone in the line. We want to bring innovation and stay relevant, but not at the expense of our loyal consumers."

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