What is the history of Wonder Bread?


Quick Answer

The Taggert Baking Company of Indianapolis introduced Wonder Bread in 1921. The product's name comes from the "wonder" that the International Balloon Race at Indianapolis Speedway inspired.

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Full Answer

Elmer Cline, the CEO of Taggert Baking Company at the time, attended the International Balloon Race while considering how to brand his new product, a loaf of sliced bread. Cline and company subsequently incorporated the silhouette of the balloon into Wonder Bread's brand appearance. In 1925, the Continental Baking Company purchased Taggert and its signature bread recipe.

In the 1930s, pre-sliced bread became the norm, and Continental Baking Company began selling pre-sliced, pre-packaged Wonder Bread. The company also announced that it devised a new way to produce the bread, which resulted in lighter bread that had no holes.

In an attempt to conserve resources, such as paper used to wrap each loaf of Wonder Bread, the United States briefly banned the making of Wonder Bread and factory-sliced bread during World War II. After World War II, Continental Baking Company began to enrich Wonder Bread with vitamins when nutritionists discovered that the process of creating white flour removes most of its nutrients.

Continental Baking Company produced Wonder Bread until 1995, when Interstate Baking purchased the company. Interstate Baking filed for bankruptcy in 2004. Flowers Foods purchased the company and re-launched Wonder Bread in 2013. As of 2016, the current line of products includes classic pre-sliced white bread, hamburger buns, hot dog buns, whole grain white and whole wheat.

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