Source: Allied Bakeries

Value sales of Burgen bread have plummeted by 59.8% to £771k [NielsenIQ 52 w/e 10 September 2022]

Allied Bakeries has halted production of its Bürgen bread brand after 25 years in the UK.

The Twitter customer service account for sister brand Kingsmill this month revealed Bürgen had been “discontinued” after a consumer tweeted it had “disappeared” from Sainsbury’s.

When approached this week by The Grocer, a spokesman for Allied said: “We can confirm we ceased production of Bürgen in September.”

There were “many people who enjoyed Bürgen bread and will have been understandably disappointed by this news”, he added.

“However, given inflationary pressure on the bakery sector as a whole, Allied Bakeries has taken the decision to focus on its core volume lines to maximise production efficiency.”

It comes after a long period of value losses for Bürgen, which last made a value gain in 2015. As reported in The Grocer Top Products Survey that year, the brand was worth £14m in grocery [NielsenIQ 52 w/e 7 November 2015].

Allied revamped Bürgen three times in the past six years, in the hopes of reversing its fortunes. The first two attempts came in 2017 and 2018. The most recent, in July 2021, saw a slightly new name – from Burgen to Bürgen – a fresh logo and a ‘powered by plants’ strapline. It also added kerbside-recyclable paper wrapping.

At the same time, the brand’s Soya & Linseed and Oat & Quinoa loaves were given new recipes and smaller packs in a bid to reduce food waste.

However, this failed to revive Bürgen’s value sales, which dived 59.8% to around £771k in the 52 weeks to 10 September 2022 [NielsenIQ].

One senior industry insider said Bürgen had failed to “compete on taste or quality” against private label alternatives. 

“Own label premium share has grown hugely over the past five or six years, and supermarkets are brutal about what they allow on shelves in bakery.”