Lidl forced to rebrand sourdough loaf in 'fake bread' row

Lidl is forced to rebrand one of its sourdough loaves after being accused of ‘misleading’ customers with ‘sourfaux’ in ‘fake bread’ row

  • The Real Bread Campaign wants stricter rules on what can be called sourdough 

Lidl has been forced to rename one of its bread loaves after it was accused of misleading customers by calling it sourdough in a fierce row.

The Sourdough Rye Crusty Bloomer is now called the Crusty Wheat and Rye Bloomer after a customer complained in June that the ‘sourfaux’ was made from 56 percent wheat flour and just 12 percent rye flour.  

Lidl rejected the complaint, but campaign group the Real Bread Campaign then argued the name was misleading because baker’s yeast was included in the recipe, in contravention of the traditional sourdough ingredients. 

Sourdough is usually made using a live ‘starter’ – a paste formed from flour and water that grows natural yeast and other bacteria – but Lidl’s recipe sees yeast added to speed up the process.

It comes amid a fierce row over the naming of artisan breads as campaigners push for laws which dictate what can be branded as sourdough. 

The loaf was previously called Sourdough Rye Crusty Bloomer – but contained just 12 percent rye flour

Lidl has now changed the name after group the Real Bread Campaign complained to Trading Standards

After Lidl initially rejected the group’s complaint, the Real Bread Campaign then took their grievances to Trading Standards.

READ MORE: Lidl announces changes to opening hours over Christmas with some stores shut completely – here’s how to find out if yours is affected 

According to the Real Bread Campaign, on December 1 Trading Standards confirmed: ‘Lidl have taken the comments on board and are changing the name of their ‘Sourdough Crusty Rye Bloomer’ to ‘Crusty Wheat & Rye Bloomer’.’

Real Bread Campaign coordinator Chris Young said: ‘We’re thankful that Lidl has come up with a more appropriate name for the product but we shouldn’t have to be spending our time on individual cases like this. 

‘Whichever party forms the next government, we urge them to introduce our proposed Honest Crust Act of improved composition, labelling and marketing standards.’

He added: ‘In the meantime, we urge all bakeries and retailers to adopt the measures voluntarily, including displaying full ingredients lists of unwrapped products at point of sale, so shoppers can make better-informed buying choices.’

On social media he shared news of the result and dubbed Lidl’s loaf ‘sourfaux’. 

The Real Bread Campaign is also pushing for bakers who sell unwrapped bread to display the loaves’ ingredients, in proposed legislation it calls the Honest Crust Act.

The act would include forcing loaves with added raising agents to be termed ‘bloomer with sourdough’ or ‘sourdough flavour’. 

A previous investigation by consumer website Which? revealed a loaf can cost up to £4 in a bakery but a fraction of this in the supermarket.

Of the 19 supermarket and branded loaves it looked at, only four got the stamp of approval for authenticity from The Real Bread Campaign in 2018.

Which? said: ‘Many supermarket sourdough loaves we investigated contained additional ingredients that make it possible to complete a loaf in a couple of hours, making it cheaper to produce.

‘While these ingredients aren’t bad for you, or unhealthy, they are not present in traditional sourdough bread. And if you’re someone who chooses sourdough because it doesn’t contain added yeast, you’ll want to avoid those loaves that contain it.’

A spokesperson for Lidl said: ‘In a recent survey conducted by YouGov, shoppers named Lidl as their number one in-store supermarket bakery. Their love for Lidl’s baked goods was reinforced further last month at the Baking Industry Awards, after being crowned Bakery Retailer of the Year. 

‘We continuously review and update our bakery range to ensure that we have the best offering for our customers at the lowest possible prices.’

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