Welcome Bimbo Bakeries USA to the IGA Red Oval Family!

Jun 16, 2021

With category-leading and recognizable brands like Ball Park, Entenmann's, Brownberry, Sara Lee, and Thomas', IGA's new Red Oval Partner Bimbo Bakeries USA (BBU) is a shopper favorite and leader in the baking industry. And with their commitment to helping independents succeed in growing their baking category, IGA retailers are sure to benefit from adding BBU to their bakery assortment!

IGA's Vice President of Business Partnerships Heidi Huff spoke with Bimbo Bakeries USA's Tom Meuser to learn more about their wide selection of brands and find out how they are helping independents. 

What makes Bimbo products different from your competitors? 

First off, we believe our mission makes us different. As part of Grupo Bimbo, the world’s largest baking company, BBU is proud to share the global mission to “deliver delicious and nutritious baked goods and snacks in the hands of all.”

Bimbo Bakeries USA has some of America’s favorite bread and sweet baked goods brands, and offers products with superior quality that nourish and delight our consumers. 

  • Thomas is the nation’s biggest and most well-known breakfast brand. Thomas has been in American toasters for over 140 years! With a broad assortment of muffins, bagels, toaster breads, and now croissants, Thomas covers all the bases for a consumer’s breakfast bakery needs.
  • “Nobody doesn’t like Sara Lee!” This rings true for our nationally recognizable bread brand. Distributed by BBU in all states except California, Sara Lee offers quality and innovation unmatched within the category.  With products like Sara Lee Artesano, our innovation pipeline will continue to add incremental growth to the category.
  • Arnold/Brownberry/Oroweat: Depending on your store’s location in the country, one of these three brands will deliver super-premium quality and taste to IGA shoppers while consistently focusing on health and global sustainability.
  • Bimbo and Marinela: A must have cake line for Hispanic consumers

It's important to note that BBU also distributes many of the important regional brands found in IGA market geographies (Mrs. Bairds, Heiner’s and Stroehmann to name just a few). We recognize the importance of these brands to giving independent retailers that local feel.

Does BBU have any health and wellness initiatives for consumers?

We do! At BBU we have a firm commitment to promote actions that support the well-being of consumers and associates. These include supporting healthy eating habits and encouraging frequent physical activity.

For example, we sponsor the Global Energy Race each year, which is a mass participation event of varying lengths depending on the participant (families can walk a shorter distance, while adult runners can race up to 10 kilometers). It's held worldwide, including several U.S. locations.

Why is the independent sector important for your business? 

Our company was built on developing relationships and providing service to local grocers. For that reason, BBU has developed a diversified route system, called the "Bimbo Express," that includes routes dedicated to serving many single-store operators and remote stores. These routes go into the stores to do more than provide service—we help build the independent grocer’s business day-by-day and item-by-item. 

How do you prioritize independent retailers to ensure they have equal access to your products? 

From a service standpoint, we do it all for our independent retail partners!

  • We accept multiple forms of payments
  • We merchandise products that the independent stores' consumers want
  • To enhance category sales, BBU may provide fixtures, which will brighten and enhance the stores
  • We provide a service frequency is based on sales and inventory to improve stock conditions
  • We can utilize our “DSD Excellence” guidelines to assist with managing space, freshness, and schematic integrity

For more information on this assistance, contact your local BBU representative.

Bimbo Breads' popularity with shoppers is a huge asset for our retailers. How can they ensure shoppers know they carry your brands? 

One easy way IGA retailers can alert shoppers is by sharing our videos on their social media pages, like this one featuring John Stamos. Just go to our brands' YouTube pages and share. 

How is Bimbo focusing on product innovations? 

Bimbo is constantly evolving our portfolio to meet the demands of changing consumer patterns. Within each segment there are changes and adaptations made by our brand teams that address health and wellness and on trend or unique flavor profiles.

As we emerge from the pandemic, shopper behavior is changing a bit. How do you think that will affect your product sales, if at all, and what can retailers do to address those changes?

2020 was an unprecedented year for the growth of home consumption. We saw a surge in household penetration across many of our brands and increases in new buyers compared to the prior year. Our goal is to keep these consumers and continue to drive category growth. We can accomplish this in partnership with independent retailers by considering the best ways to target key shoppers with relevant messaging/incentives to sustain household penetration.

Breakfast and lunch drove the majority of the category growth in the grocery channel. With restaurants reopening, it will be critical to hook consumers to the habits they have formed preparing these meals at home.

Online shopping also saw a surge due to the pandemic, with consumers purchasing their groceries online more than ever before. Our goal is to continue to support online shoppers by remaining in stock in your stores, while working with our independent partners to develop programming to draw them back to brick-and-mortar.

We encourage IGA retailers to take advantage of our brands and utilize our best resources: our people! Work with your local Bimbo Bakeries representative to make sure every IGA store is well represented with our category-leading brands:

  • Thomas breakfast
  • Entenmann’s sweet baked goods
  • Sara Lee and Artesano mainstream breads
  • Arnold Brownberry and Oroweat Premium breads
  • Ball Park buns

Questions about Bimbo Bakeries? Contact Tom Meuser

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