SAN FRANCISCO — After an exclusive introduction of the company’s sandwich rolls at select Subway restaurants in a highly promoted debut, Hero Bread is launching its own branded products nationally direct to consumers. The wheat-based products are baked with no conventional flour.
Hero Labs, Inc. in late March said it was introducing Hero sliced bread and Hero kaiser rolls. The products contain between zero and one net gram of carbohydrate, no sugar and “substantially improved nutritional profiles when compared to the best sellers in each category.”
The exact timing and details of the rollout were not disclosed, but in a promotional video on the company’s web site, Cole Glass, founder and chief executive officer of San Francisco-based Hero Labs, described a nearly limitless ambition for applications for the flour-replacement ingredients.
“People ask me all the time what’s Hero?” he said. “Well you can kind of consider Hero just like you think about Beyond Meat and Impossible in plant-based meat. Hero is that but for flour-based foods. Imagine everything you do with flour. Burger buns, tortillas, pizza crust, muffins, the list goes on and on. We are taking all those products and recreating them so it looks, tastes, smells and feels exactly like what you’re used to. I mean we’re talking about the toasty notes of the bread, the buttery flakiness of the 27 layers of the croissant. We’re doing all that while using protein and fiber to replace traditional flour, which means we’re eliminating most of if not all of the net carbs and the sugar.”
The direct-to-consumer launch followed an introduction at Subway restaurants in October of sandwiches made on sandwich rolls produced by Hero Labs. Unveiled to considerable fanfare, the bread has been featured on commercials with appearances by sports stars Tom Brady, Stephen Curry, Serena Williams and Megan Rapinoe. The Hero Bread sandwiches were offered in a number of test markets — Colorado Springs, Colo.; Savannah, Ga.; Boise, Idaho; and Des Moines, Iowa. No national rollout has yet been announced.
The Subway bread contains only 1 gram of net carbohydrates per 6-inch sub roll, making it the first quick-service restaurant chain to offer a 1-net-carb bread option, according to Subway. The bread also contains 12 grams of protein, 26 grams of fiber, 100 calories and no sugar. By comparison, most other bread offerings at Subway contain between 24 to 49 carbs per serving.
The subway bread is made with water, modified wheat starch, wheat protein, milled flaxseed, canola oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, fava bean protein, guar gum and enzymes. The bread is not gluten-free.