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Article appeared in issue 5, 2020

Our daily bread

Donegal bakery kickstarting the bread category

Gallagher’s Bakery has launched a range of handcrafted sourdough bread products that it believes will shake up a 'stodgy industry'. The breads are prepared using traditional baking methods with a sourdough starter that is allowed to ferment for 12 hours and has a lighter flavour.

The company began as a family-run bakery business in Donegal in 1968 and today, products are stocked in almost 1,000 stores in Donegal, Connacht and across Northern Ireland. Its Promise Gluten Free brand is the leading gluten-free bakery brand in Ireland since its re-launch in 2019 and has become a global player in this market in the UK and Canada.

The Bakehouse range is part of a brand revamp for the business and includes new packaging and a new identity. The change in brand positioning and offering is in line with consumer demand for tastier, more nutritious products with health benefits – such as being a good source of fibre, which is good for gut health. Sourdough is generally rich in prebiotics, which complement good gut health and enhance the body’s ability to absorb vitamins and minerals.

Patrick O’Sullivan, CEO at Gallagher’s Bakery, believes the sliced-pan market has become stagnant and that the Bakehouse range represents an opportunity to kickstart category growth. “Sourdough – with its health benefits – has been growing in popularity generally in recent years, and the lockdowns of 2020 have seen it becoming particularly ‘on-trend’. We’ve put it at the heart of our new range, which we hope will change the way people think about bread.

“There is no reason at all why a packaged sliced pan can’t taste great and have a light and fluffy texture. Our bakers have perfected a specific mild sourdough flavour and combined it with a traditional slow-baking approach, which allows the sourdough to ferment for 12 hours. The result is bread made better – a lighter, softer bread that tastes great and which, even when toasted, retains its softness, shape and bounce.”

The new Gallagher’s Bakehouse range consists of sliced family-sized and smaller-sized Rustic White, Wholemeal and Multigrain family pans, bloomers, baps, gourmet brioche burger buns, and a new handcrafted healthy range of Digestive Boost, Vitamin Boost, and Spelt & Oats loaves. The full range is on shelf in shops now.