Fastest-growing top 10 bread brand Burgen is launching a loaf using up-and-coming ‘super-seed’ chia.

Growing demand for healthier bread has helped to push sales of the Allied Bakeries brand up 24.5% by volume and 18.9% by value year-on-year [SymphonyIRI 52w/e 18 February 2012], while all other top 10 brands except gluten-free Genius have lost volume over the same period.

The Burgen range - which already includes a Buckwheat & Poppy Seed loaf rich in vitamin D and a Soya & Linseed loaf that has a low glycemic index - is being expanded from this week with a Sunflower & Chia seed version.

Chia, a good source of omega-3, is being tipped as a new superfood. It was granted approval for use in bread products in 2009, and the EC is currently considering whether it should be approved for use in a wider range of foods.

Burgen’s strong performance was down to its focus on health, backed by savvy advertising and NPD, said industry observers. This has led to increased awareness among health-conscious consumers as well as distribution gains over the past 12 months.

“After years of little support, Allied put £200,000 behind it last May and really put it back on the scene,” said Mintel food & drink analyst Alex Beckett. “Its ads were clever and simple and got over the health message well.”

Allied said it was extending its print and online advertising support to include the loaf.

“Our press advertising is aimed squarely at our target audience: health-conscious, savvy, generally female baby-boomers who regularly read publications such as the Mail on Sunday, Women & Home and Good Housekeeping,” said Burgen senior brand manager Ellen Bailey. “We’re also reaching out to health-conscious customers online.”