Dude note on 04/24/15: Udi’s bread has gotten worse. Much worse. Read about it here.
Last week, Gluten Free Jenna, a fellow celiac, posted the above picture of a loaf of Udi’s bread she had just bought (without the Udi’s inset…that was my special touch for this blog post).
I found the picture comical at first.
But is it really funny? Or is it kinda troubling? And how common is this?
So yesterday, I did what any true journalist would do. I posted the picture on my Facebook page. But I intentionally did not give the brand name. My caption simply said this:
“Since it’s Sunday, how about something holy? I give you “gluten-free bread”. Seriously, how does this make it to the grocery store shelf?”
Note that I did not mention Udi’s. Nor did I even ask people to guess the brand.
Well here are some of the 75 comments I’ve received thus far:
“That is UDI’s bread; I’d recognize those holes anywhere!”
“Let me guess, Udi’s? You crack me up!”
“Yes my Holey Udi’s Bread looks just like this!!!”
“Udi’s right? Mine had a ton of holes too!!”
“Definitely Udi’s. I recognize those holes anywhere!”
“Let me guess, Udi’s? I have had several loaves this way. At $6 a loaf, it’s crazy!”
“Gotta be Udi’s!”
“It look like Udi’s to me.”
There was not one person who guessed a different brand. Not one.
Then I did a Google search and low and behold, this has been an issue for several years.
Now obviously, every loaf of Udi’s bread does not have gaping holes. I even purchased a loaf yesterday even though I don’t eat bread anymore and it was fine.
But the question is…why do any of them have holes?
I want you to look at the picture to the right comparing two loafs of bread and focus your attention on the price per pound. I took these pics yesterday at my local grocery store.
Price per pound of normal bread: $3.19
Price per pound of Udi’s bread: $7.85
Udi’s bread is 146% more expensive than regular bread.
So we’ve got two issues: You’re paying a lot more AND you’re getting a lot less.
This is totally not cool. Many celiacs already feel ripped off by the cost of a lot of gluten-free food. We don’t need to feel cheated by the product itself as well.
So what can we do about it?
Do we get all pissy and turn this into an Udi’s bashing session? Sure, we could do that…but that could take years and cost millions of lives.
(If you don’t understand that joke, go watch Animal House…immediately.)
No…I just want Udi’s to explain a few things so we can understand.
I am hoping the good folks at Udi’s will take the time to answer the following three questions:
1) Why is your bread as expensive as it is, compared to non gluten-free bread?
2) Why do some of your batches have large holes in them, rendering them basically unusable?
3) What are you doing to ensure that NONE of your future loaves of bread will have these holes?
And look…maybe there are legitimate reasons for the price and the holes. I’m not a bread expert.
I’m not looking to take down Udi’s. I love some of their products.
I just want to learn the truth.
94 thoughts on “Hey Udi's: What's With the Holes in Your Bread?”
From buying GF flours for the past few years, I have to say I’m no longer confused by the price of GF baked goods. But that’s no excuse for the lack of quality control.
I just wanted to say that I found a brand of gluten free bread called canyon bake house whole grain or sandwich no more than udies or rudies I sent an email to them and asked aboit shelf life . I like leaving bread in the freezer and then toast it when I want to make a sandwich. They emailed me back same day wow , one week on the counter they do not recomend refrigeration because it drys it out very very very good bread you will be awstruck.
So early in the am I should look over what I type haha I don’t keeping the bread in the freezer. I go through a lot of bread sandwiches are easy on the job .
I have the same problem with Ezekiel food for Life bread except worse. Those holes are bigger and in the middle of it. I called them many times, 10 years later they couldn’t care less because the problem persists. 0 quality control. someone needs to start a petition sent to the Daily Mail & TV news, and make it go viral.
I’ll take a stab at the expensive part…
Wheat is, and has been, subsidized heavily by the Farm Bill. So many farmers can afford to grow it because if their crops fail, they basically have insurance. And they have a guaranteed market to boot.
Gluten-free grains, on the other hand, are not subsidized (with the exception of corn and soy). So the farmers have to take a lot more risks to grow them. Hence, the more expensive gluten-free products.
Thanks for explaining, Pamela
The reason why wheat bread is cheaper also is that a 50 pound sack of wheat flour cost nine dollars
A 50 pound sack of rice flour cost between 22 and $25 per 50 pound sack plus you have to add tapioca flour and many other gluten-free grains which are very expensive
Yes the subsidies make wheat flour less expensive
But to make a loaf of gluten-free requires a lot more ingredients to simulate the gluten
The holes created and a loaf of gluten-free bread is caused by the simulated gluten not being as strong of a bond as wheat flour gluten
If you have ever baked your own gluten free bread, you’d know that GF flours,starches and xanthan gum is expensive. (so, yes, GF commercial products are going to be more expensive than cheap wheat products) And let’s be fair—Udi’s is not the only company to charge high prices for GF products. What about that GF beer we all gladly pay tons o’cash for??? 🙂
And if you have ever baked your own GF breads, you would know that they are subject to holes, caving and other assorted baking flaws because THERE IS NO GLUTEN to act as a binder. Unless you add a boatload of starches and xanthan gum, (so that it makes it unpalatable and well, gummy ) you’re going to get imperfect loaves.
Meh, big deal. It’s just the way it is, I’m afraid.
Udi’s is the closest thing to decent bread that I can find on the market.
So many of them taste like sawdust or are hard as rocks. I have baked dozens of loaves and they are stale within seconds. (okay, that’s an exaggeration, but not by much) 🙂 so I am glad that something lasts a few days and tastes good plain or as toast.
Yes, occasionally, there is a hole in a slice or two, but I’m not going to get all pissy about it. I am glad Udi’s makes so many options for GeeFreers. Hey, that bread helped me travel for 3 days without toting along a damn toaster and it remained fresh and pliable. This is nothing but good news, if you ask me!! 🙂
It costs 4.99 a loaf here in NY and I pay for it gladly because it’s the only bread that is big enough and tasty enough to make a sandwich
with it. Even my hubs (who does not need to be GF, but does it out of love and solidarity) thinks it tastes pretty good..
If I got a loaf like the one pictured above, I would have emailed them a picture and asked for a refund. I bet they would have provided one pronto.
Ok…definitely learning about the cost factor of the ingredients. Appreciate the education.
While I agree that the cost of the bread is dictated by the cost of the ingredients, I would argue that being gluten free is NOT an excuse for such gaping holes on a regular basis. When I was buying gluten free bread, I ended up switching to Rudi’s bread because, while similar in texture and taste, it didn’t have the holes that Udi’s bread did. The very fact that everyone who posted on the Facebook page guessed the correct brand of bread should be an indication that this is an Udi-specific problem. I stopped buying gluten free bread once I found an outstanding recipe by Silvana Nardone (http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Isaiahs-Gluten-Free-Sandwich-Bread). I *never* get holes like that in my bread (and, for the record, it’s softer and tastier than store bought brands and I can eat it untoasted for a full week and not have dry, crumbly bread).
I agree with Janet. I switched to Rudi’s whole grain (GF). I rarely eat bread but keep some in the freezer just in case. I love the taste – it’s definitely as good as Udi’s and doesn’t need to be toasted to be enjoyed. I feel like the loaves are a better consistency than Udi’s. Not sure what is up with Udi’s, but their GF white and whole grain are often hole-y.
But shesh, Rudi’s is just as expensive as Udi’s. Rice is super cheap so I’m not sure about the whole wheat-is-cheaper theory. It does make me feel better that real, whole wheat bread in the freezer section of the grocery store is almost as expensive as GF. I don’t think it’s fair to compare a commercial bread’s prices to “real” bread. Read the labels. You get what you pay for. 🙂
I hear you both about the Rudi’s, (size, texture, etc) but I did not like the taste for some reason. Maybe it’s just my taste buds?
The one recipe I did like was Bette Hagman’s 4- flour blend loaf.
No holes, squishy, but it’s made with bean flours and not my favorite
Janet, thanks for the link to the recipe! I’m willing to try anything anyone says is “outstanding, soft and tasty”.
Hope you like it. I have shared it with folks who are not gluten free and they couldn’t tell the difference between it and wheat bread which I think speaks a lot for the recipe. For those that can tolerate it, I found using Expandex (modified tapioca starch) also helps maintain the consistency better and longer. Some people report digestive issues with it (though it never bothered me). I found it online through Navan Food (https://www.navanfoods.com/allergyfree-foods/allergy-free-foods-expandex). I also checked on *how* it was modified and discovered they use a process of fermentation rather than chemical treatment.
Since I had trouble finding plain whey powder (all I could find locally was whey powder based protein mixes), I used Organic Valley brand nonfat dry milk. When I could find it, I found that substituting some or all of the whey/dry milk with Montina™ Pure Baking Substitute (i.e. a flour made from Indian Rice Grass) made for a “whole grain” taste and texture. Unfortunately it appears that product is no longer being made. 🙁
Hi Janet, Where was it you found information on Expandex’s modification process? I have been looking into this product and have found that they refuse to release that information. They state it is proprietary information. I would double check your info, more than likely it is processed in a prophelyne oxide bath, and then dried. This chemical is a petroleum byproduct that is also used to make plastic.
If they did use a fermentation process, I am sure they would release this information about using a natural process.
I spoke to someone from the company who was attending a GF Expo in the Chicagoland area.
I too agree with Janet – no excuse for the holes. I started baking my own bread due to the hole issue – and it’s way better. When I do buy GF bread, I make a point not to buy Udi’s. The cost of Udi’s and other GF bread is absurd. I get that not all of the ingredients are subsidized etc., but that still doesn’t account for the massive disparity in cost for their ridiculously tiny loaves of bread – sorry. Udi’s is not a local GF shop down the street – it’s a big (and growing) company with huge distribution and buying power (way bigger than it was even five years ago). It doesn’t have to be this way. Whole Foods sells their GF White Sandwich bread for $4.99 a loaf, it’s just as good if not better than Udi’s, and it’s a normal full-sized loaf of bread! Wow, how novel! And rest assured that Whole Foods is making plenty of a profit margin on their bread (with only a small fraction of the GF bread market that Udi’s has). The article states that Udi’s bread is 146% more expensive, but it’s actually way more expensive than that because the loaves are so small! Yes, this makes me mad! Mad because we’re being ripped off, and a large part of why those who are GF continue to be ripped off is complacency. By the way – if and when Udi’s does comment on the article, it will be the same Vaseline smile, corporate platitudes they answer all of these queries with – delivered with that unmistakable air of passive condescension. Thanks, I feel slightly better.
While I can appreciate a good rant, a few thoughts here:
1) Let’s keep personal attacks out of this. No need to call a fellow celiac out.
2) The 146% was based on the price per pound so the size of the loaf does not matter.
3) Let’s give Udi’s the chance to respond.
I don’t have to have gluten free anything. I just like the taste and texture of Udi’s Bread.
I don’t know about pronto. I am new to gf and got a loaf of UDI’s at Costco-not real bread, but palatable enough when toasted. Then I was at Walmart and saw it cheaper so bought two loaves for the freezer. Horrid, dry as a rock (about as hard too). The tag at the end had a date seven months prior. I have emailed UDI’s twice now with no response. So, I am getting on the bake it myself train. UDI’s is mainly rice starch and no nutritional value-might as well toast cardboard and put almond butter on that. I have been acquiring recipes for high protein high nutritional value loaves. Some sound wonderful. Just have to wait till after the holidays to buy a bunch of high quality ingredients. By the way, I have been shopping multiple sites and Amazon and Walmart have some fantastic deals–sometimes you can get four bags cheaper than one. Just have to be a cautious shopper and compare those prices!!!!
I have tried practically every brand of GF bread out there and Udi’s is the only one I’ve had basically an entire loaf with a hollow center in too! Don’t know why but it’s frustrating and pricey…..and led me to Canyon Bakehouse! Their quality control is seriously lacking. Thanks for bringing this issue to light and hopefully they respond!
I LOVE Canyon Bakehouse bread. It’s about $2 more per loaf at my store though 🙁
I liked it when I had a taste of it in Florida, but they do not have it anywhere near me in NY.
I can’t comment on the UDI’s bread (I have never heard of it till today) but here in South Africa we don’t have many options… I’ve managed to find a health store that stocks soya & rice bread which in my little world is delicious 🙂 Down side is it costs R32.00 a loaf, so to put that into perspective a “normal” loaf of bread costs R10.00 pushing it R12.00. So in a percentage we are paying 320% more for our GF bread.
To buy flours and mix to make an all purpose flour it costs just over R100.00 to get 2kgs of GF Flour, for a 2.5kg wheat flour at the stores it is just under R20.00 (the last time I checked so might have gone up) so all in all I do understand the GF bread price. Nothing about celiac is cheap 🙁
My fiance the other day bought me gluten free Chelsea buns cause he wanted me to have a treat (happy heart that he loves me that much) but I almost vomited when I saw that they cost R90 for these tiny little things. They called them chelsea buns but they looked more like a danish.
“Nothing about celiac is cheap”
Boy, is that the truth. My medical/dental bills from the last 10 years could have purchased a boatload of bread–for us all.
The giant holes and the fact that it is loaded with potato were the two reasons I quit eating Udi’s bread. I am a terrible GF baker, so I was relying on commercially-made bread when I first went GF. Now, I treat bread as a once-in-awhile luxury, and eat it very rarely. My pocketbook has thanked me! 😉
I have to agree with everything Irish Heart said. I have almost tried every bread out there and found the majority taste and hold together like a packed loaf of sawdust. I found Udi’s on a trip to San Diego in 2010. It almost tasted like real bread, was bigger than melba toast, and didn’t disintegrate after two minutes of having mayo spread on it.
I don’t eat much bread and never have, but sometimes you just want the convenience of a making a quick sandwich. Granted I don’t buy enough bread to see a pattern with the Udi’s, but so far I’ve never had holes like this in any Udi’s bread that I purchased..
I think one of the issues with texture and taste is that I never have an opportunity to eat any of the GF breads while they are fresh. In my area the only GF breads are frozen or have previously been frozen. Even real bread gets an off-putting taste and texture after sitting in a freezer. I also find that most of the frozen bread has a layer of frost inside the bag and are already freezer burned while still in the grocery store.I figure this is from having the freezer door opened/closed multiple times each day and few people are reaching for the GF bread.
On a sidenote I’ve also found that I like Rudi’s white bread. It is a bit softer than the Udi’s, didn’t require it to be toasted, but still held up through an entire PJB without disintegrating in my hands.
I tried making my own once. I spent enough money on three different kinds of flour and xanthum gum to fund a small country. It tasted icky, looked icky, and was so dense it could have been used as a weapon. No Udi’s bashing from me.
Gluten free products like Udi’s are always going to be more expensive, and I don’t have an issue with that – it’s understandable because the market is smaller, the ingredients are more expensive, and processing and testing to make sure things remain gluten free is costly, too. It’s best to just suck it up and make unprocessed food the center of the diet, and have things like Udi’s as a once-in-awhile item.
I agree, it’s pretty annoying to open a loaf of bread and find that half the slices have giant holes in them. I’ve never had this issue with Udi’s – maybe one or two slices like this in a bag every now and then – but I hardly ever eat it, so it might be a bigger problem than I realize. I think Udi’s has one of the better mass-produced gluten free breads on the market – it’s especially good toasted, and it doesn’t fall apart like many of the other big brands.
Another reason for the high price of gluten free (processed) foods in general is the dedicated facilities. Other baking/processing plants turn out different products at different times to keep money flowing. For example: a plant that makes ten different flavors of chips can rotate which kind they are producing or make pretzels one day.
And, as a small time baker myself, I can tell you that the yearly fees for testing and inspection to be certified gluten free (by CSA, CFCO or NFCA-companies that test at 10ppm or lower or 5ppm or lower as compared with the FDA which tests at 20ppm) is very expensive. For the big companies, I suppose that might not be such an issue. BUT-obviously it is an expense that non gluten-free companies do not have to worry about.
I buy Udi’s pretty much weekly and have never had a loaf that looked like that (watch I probably jinxed myself now)..I have had a couple pieces within a loaf with holes but not that many. About 2 or 3 weeks ago at the store I shop (Woodman’s – Northern, IL) the cost of a loaf of Udi’s dropped to $3.99 – hopefully it stays that way. May have to try that Canyon Bakehouse bread if I can find it around here – It looks pretty good on their website…
This has happened to me in the past, and I emailed Udi’s. They were quick to respond with an explanation about how they’re aware of the problem and working to resolve it (something to do with enzymes.) I can’t find their email at the moment or I’d post their comments here… They also sent me a coupon so I could try their product again.
Wow! I have never seen that in any loaf of Udi’s I’ve bought, thank goodness! It is pricey, and my husband and I do treat bread as a “sometimes” purchase, but lately I have been buying Gluten Free Pantry’s Favorite Sandwich Bread mix and making my own. I love it, it lasts for a while when stored in a ziplock bag, and even longer in the refrigerator. Blessedly, our local Wal-Mart has a pretty decent GF section and the mix is only 3.90-something. We Love it. If you want to try that, I’d give it a huge thumbs up! But, if you mix it too long, you will still get holes, or slumping that causes dense spots. So sometimes, it’s what my husband calls an “operator problem” and not a product one.
I hope this helps! Oh, and I bought Udi’s hamburger buns this past weekend. Those are WAAAAAY more costly than their loaf bread, but totally worth it for the act of grilling out “normally”!
Laughed out loud when I saw your “hole grain” caption – very funny. I agree that some gluten-free products are going to be more money because of the smaller market. Store bought gluten-free bread is expensive, no doubt. We’ve always made our own. We also don’t use gums or yeast – many celiacs may also be sensitive to yeast. So without yeast, too, it’s simply mixed in the mixer and baked in the oven so it’s not so time consuming. Baking it yourself is less expensive and we get to enjoy bread that tastes and feels like bread. Oh, and none of those tunnel holes. 🙂
Don’t have much to add to the Udi’s conversation. Yes it’s expensive, and yes, every now and then a loaf has a huge hole through half the slices, I just use those for toast v. sandwiches, and except it as part of the fun of having GF kids. Really, I just wanted to pass on my love for a site that quotes Animal House. Don’t ever change GD.
“No, no, no, don’t think of it as work. The whole point is just to enjoy yourself.”
“Jennings: Teaching is just a way to pay the bills until I finish my novel.
Boon: How long you been workin’ on it?
Jennings: Four and a half years.
Pinto: It must be very good.
Jennings: It’s a piece of shit. Would anyone like to smoke some pot?”
(I think I have seen Animal House about 32 times. Not sure I should admit that publicly.)
I buy the Udi’s loaves from Jason’s Deli. It is !2.99 a loaf, but it is “normal-sized” slices. I only have to make my kid one sandwich with it instead of two. It has had those large holes in it a few times. They made it unusable for sandwiches. Pretty frustrating at 6am and it usually runs through the loaf.
I bake a copycat Udi’s at home and I’ve never had the hole issue. I think it is a quality control problem, but I do think (and hope) they would address it. They need to know when it happens to be able to do that.
I understand the cost. Sourcing GF raw materials, dedicated bakery for a still small market, the liability of claiming GF, and even all the development costs really add up. I’ve been asked to bake for some local restaurants and I just can’t get the cost down enough.
Wow, if I bought a loaf like that, I’d return it to the store! I use Udi’s all the time, and while I’m used to small holes in it, I’ve never had a loaf like that before. I understand the cost, but hope in the future there will be more competition and lower prices. I’m interested to see what Udi’s would have to say…
So am I…
Here’s the deal – everyone puts up with this problem. Until we as consumers start to return the bread to the stores we purchased it, and the stores ask for credit from Udi’s, well then Udi’s just thinks their making some dough off their gluten free dough. Return the bread to stores. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Let Udi’s know by taking a stand.
“Making dough off their gluten-free dough”—love it. If we persist in eating the faulty loaves rather than returning them, does that make us all a bunch of gluten-free dough-doughs? 🙂
My few cents: I know gluten free baking is pricy and not easy. But what I think-If you decide to sell your product in a mass quantities shouldn’t you first master it? So your clients don’t get surprises like this? It is not all about money Udi’s!
I tend to agree. I don’t think any batches whatsoever should come out like the picture above. It means something is just not right with the process.
I’ve had trouble with other products from other companies in the past and have always been met with kindness and consideration in return for my lack of snark. I once got a container of Lifeway frozen kefir that was only 2/3 full. I shot a picture of it, tweeted it to them, and was sent multiple coupons for a free product.
My point is: I bet if you all sent pictures of your bread, and a nice email about it to Udi’s they’d be willing to either compensate you with a free loaf coupon or something. It would also bring the problem to their attention. It may be getting overlooked.
The problem is that it’s been “overlooked” for three years. I did try contacting them a couple of years ago (complete with pictures) but got no response from them. By then, several other companies had made it on to the scene with bread that was bigger, lacked the problem of holes in the middle and which tasted just as “good”. I say that in quotes because, truthfully, I don’t think any of the store bought brands are all that great. The products currently have a limited audience so they don’t have a high turnover rate. That leaves them stored in freezers or on shelves for too long making them drier than their wheat counterparts. Most of the GF bread that I have bought was either dry from the get go or had only a day or two of “moistness” left in them so they were only palatable when toasted. Though, on the plus side, making croutons out of them was much easier. Half the work was already done for you.
I recently found Udi’s Millet-chia bread and I love it !! I had had the tunneling problem with their other breads but only once with this variety. I always have toasted my bread even before my Celiac diagnosis so can’t tell you how it is untoasted. The good thing is that there are breads out there now. It hasn’t always been this way. I have found the Millet=chia to be the most nutritious of any I’ve tried. Locally ( Orlando) Publix has had the bread on special $1.60 off for about a month now. I’ve filled my freezer. If anyone can’t find it at a Publix …just ask and they’ll get it in.
Millet-Chia is the variety I most often buy, too…maybe that’s why I haven’t had many issues with the bread texture.
dang, I was in FLA 2 weeks ago and I did not see that at Publix.
It’s not available here –not that I have seen anyway.
Thanks for the tip, IrishPoodle. 🙂
I’ll keep an eye out.
Never seen holes like that in Udi’s Bread, that’s just odd.
As for the price, I have never paid $7.85 since I can get it at Trader Joe’s for $4.99. In the photo, the $7.85 is the “Regular Price?” That’s just BS. The day I spend $8 for Udi’s is the day I go back to making my own. I’ve also had almost had every other gluten-free bread or mix and nothing really matches Udi’s, so why wouldn’t I pay more?
And even though I can make my own bread for years for a little less, I still buy Udi’s because it helps me manage my weight better. My bread runs about double the calories – less holes you know, so after a while unless I slice it very thin I’m spending a lot of my calorie budget on heavy bread. I’ve tried various techniques – whipped egg whites, extra yeast, cider vinegar, xanthan gum longer baking time, etc. to get my bread fluffy and light like Udi’s with only marginal success. And then it’s easier just to go to the store and I make so many other things from scratch anyway since my wife has soy, nut, latex, shellfish, legumes allergies, and she’s vegetarian.
The customer rules, if you don’t like the price or quality don’t buy it. If everyone agrees with you eventually it will disappear like many gluten items I used to love like Gluten-Free Chocolate Glazed Doughnuts and Puffed Amaranth Cereal.
A better questions is how does Glutino stay in business making so many products that taste like cardboard? I mean their bread, pizza crust, crackers, etc; the only things that tastes right are their pretzels, but those are supposed to taste like cardboard with a singed later and lots of salt.
It’s not the ingredients but the smaller quantity of bread manufactured GF as the reason for the extra cost. Most things are cheaper if they are able to be produced in greater quantities. Simple economics. I love Udi’s bread and appreciate having it available, but I usually eat less than a slice per day unless I take a sandwich, partly because of the cost and partly because I try to avoid breads at all.
That being said, the holes do get aggravating, especially if I want it for a sandwich instead of toast with breakfast. I actually had thought this week about contacting customer service because it seems to be happening a lot lately. If the holes in my bread had been as large as the ones pictured, I would have done more than just thought about calling! That is just poor quality control and they need to deal with it.
The large holes were more common about three years back — we consume several loaves per week as there we are a house with multiple celiac teens and — “lucky me” — their friends like our bread.
Anywho — I have found if you contact Udi’s they have always responded with a very nice coupon along with apology.
I have noticed – with a few minor curses…that the small holes are appearing once again – while making sandwiches at the wee hours of the morning. I will let them know with a friendly email and receive my coupon.
Continually grateful – Lisa
ps….it is purchased frozen…so watch for it to go on special at Sprouts or your local store — we stock up during the discounts — paying as little as 2.99 per loaf — Glutino Genisus when on sale is also worth stocking up.
for the best fresh soft loaf – canyon bakehouse remains our go-to — regardless of cost
this is all coming from the celiac family that learned to bake our own — successfully.
I just noticed this the other day, too. I had holes on a couple of slices, and thought that was weird. Apparently, not uncommon.
Holes…hmmm. I’m in Toronto and we have an awesome small bakery ‘Aiden’s Gluten Free and they’re awesome. However, they’ve also been subject to holey bread. I got fed up one day because of this, Aiden’s is 7.29 per loaf in the health food stores. So I contacted them and they advised that buns can’t be checked, however they do random checks for holes in their loaves.
Since then, I haven’t had one loaf with holes.
Making this bread is brutal. We’ve decided to open a Gf private brand with some mixes. I’m happy to say, our bread is beautiful. On that note, you’ll always have a day when the bread just doesn’t’ cut it.
Our guy gives us credit for the loaves if we take a picture dated and timed and he’s sends off a coupon for a replacement.
By the way, if you ever have a chance to buy this bread, it’s just like eating a loaf of wheat bread – on the first day that is…after that, in the freezer it goes LOL.
My name is Suzanne Wolke and I’m the Social Media Manager here at Udi’s Gluten Free. I’d love to take this opportunity to answer these very important questions. We completely understand everyone’s frustrations and we’ve been working hard to resolve this issue! My response to GlutenDude’s questions are below but feel free to respond with any additional questions/concerns you may have. Hope this helps!
1)Why is your bread as expensive as it is, compared to non gluten-free bread?
The primary reason for the price difference between a loaf of Udi’s Gluten Free Bread and a gluten rich loaf is the cost of ingredients and the bakery facilities they are baked in. We try to be cost conscience and still use the finest natural ingredients possible which are guaranteed gluten free. Our bakery is also 100% gluten free with strict guidelines and testing to prevent contamination. These factors together do result in a higher priced loaf or bread, but one that we can be proud of!
2) Why do some of your batches have large holes in them, rendering them basically unusable?
The air pockets in our loaves of bread can be a result of a natural enzyme reaction that can occur during the baking process with gluten-free ingredients.
3) What are you doing to ensure that NONE of your future loaves of bread will have these holes?
We have invested in new equipment and have moved to 100% inspection of our loaves. We have also employed stricter ingredient specifications that will avoid excessive holing. The result of these changes should be showing up on shelves now! Do keep in mind that our products can be kept frozen for 6 months so it may take a little while for all loaves to rotate out of circulation.
If you do experience a loaf with air pockets, please let us know here at the following link so that we can grab your contact information and reimburse you. http://bit.ly/ZnmbRv
We want to thank everyone for their patience and support while we’ve dealt with this problem.
Many thanks for your response Suzanne. I think I can speak for the majority of the celiac community when I say we are grateful for Udi’s for making food that is 100% safe for us to eat; and are appreciative of your continued effort to keep the quality high and the prices reasonable.
Gluten Dude, I think the response deserves a new post, or at least an update that refreshes it in the recent column. I think if you’re going to say disparaging things about a company, you need to give it the same visibility when they own up to it and respond. If I hadn’t caught your Facebook post, I would have missed this. That said, it’s your blog and run it however you want, just don’t stop.
I’m glad that Udi’s finally responded. It was wrong of them to not respond to so many of you. Yet, it seems that they were already making a conscious effort to ameliorate this problem. It would have been nice if they’d made that clear sooner than now. In doing so they could have avoided this big fiasco.
I am happy with the response, and the outcome. Now, if only they could add some more whole grains to their products and product line I’d be a super happy camper.
I came upon your comments about “Udi’s holes” here on this site when I did an internet search. I see that your post, claiming that the holes problem was being rectified, is almost a year old, yet today (a year later), I opened my umpteenth loaf of Udi’s bread, with a huge hole (my toddler can put his arm through it) that spans the entire length of the loaf, rendering it completely unusable for my child’s sandwiches.
I’m so disappointed. It seems that this problem has not been corrected. I buy two loaves a week, and I can’t remember the last time I got a loaf that didn’t have these large holes.
I’m writing to you in this forum, hoping you’ll respond, because I have written to the Udi’s web site itself before (where you directed us for further questions) and received no response. At that time, I was inquiring as to whether the corn solids in the bread were organic/GMO free. Like I said, no response.
So I really hope this message reaches you.
Please know that the problem brought to your attention over a year ago continues, and that there are posts from hundreds dissatisfied customers all over the web.
Why have I continued to buy the bread in its defective state? I, like so many consumers, am a busy mom who doesn’t have time to bake my own GF bread, and experiment with recipes that my GF toddler will eat. So, I’ve tolerated Udi’s and literally cut and pasted one inch sandwiches together out of this bread for months.
I really hope that you’ll convey to your management that you need to make this right. Please fix your product.
Thank you. Liz, Scotch Plains NJ
I’m so sorry to hear you’re still experiencing air pockets in our breads. We did address the holes in our bakery last year and saw almost a complete elimination of them. However, it seems that they have returned in the last few months. We’ve adjusted our recipe again and are confident that we figured out the issue this time.
I do apologize that you never received my team’s response to your website inquiry. Sometimes our emails do land in people’s spam folder. Please send me your contact info at email@example.com and I can figure out what happened!
Thanks for reaching out!
But, I just bought another two loaves of bread by Udi’s: there are huge holes at least 8 slices in. I’ve never once received an Udi’s bread loaf without the huge holes.
Still, I felt (until I researched some more) it was an intentional way to sell at the same price while including less. But now that I’ve checked the dates of these posts, I’m back to suspecting that it IS intentional.
I’m glad someone else posted a recipe for bread. Looks like I’ll be making my own. Thanks @Janet.
I would like to express, personally, my appreciation for you taking the time to address these concerns.
I have personally e mailed udi’s a few times about the holes and they were very quick to respond and send me coupons. The bread is getting better everytime and the fact that they are soy and dairy free is huge as well. Def worth the xtra money not to have hives from soy!!
I can’t begin to count how many loaves I’ve purchased only to bring it home and find 2-3 gaping holes in them. After much getting pissed off at buying something @ almost $7/loaf here in Quebec I finally learned to pry open the loaf and peek into it in several different spots to find ones with no holes.
I mean I appreciate the fact that it’s good bread what I don’t appreciate spending more money than I have to already for a product which is essentially useless if there is a giant hole in it.
I’ve found a GF bread recipe that I love and the 2 flours are fairly cheap (rice & oat). I can make 4 loaves for about $8 – $10 depending on if I get fancy with flavors like cinnamon raisin. If I can do it for roughly $2 – $2.50 a loaf (paying full consumer price for ingredients) why can’t companies make it cheaper?
Also am I the only one that finds any thing labeled “Gluten Free” MORE expensive? I actually found 2 boxes of cereal by the same company with the same ingredients in separate aisles (in the regular breakfast aisle and in the GF section) with an almost $2 price difference – the GF label was the only change. I’ve started shopping in the “Ethnic Food” aisles to get much cheaper rice based pastas & crackers.
Thank you so much for responding to this. I also thank Udi’s for the wide variety of products you make that are wonderful, and am so happy that the issue with your bread is being resolved.
Thank you everyone for your patience and understanding! I do apologize for the delayed response but hope it helps answer your questions. Udi’s wouldn’t be what it is today without the support of people like you!
I’d also like to thank Suzanne for her response. Just yesterday I opened a new loaf of bread and noticed the size difference and did a happy dance ! Again .. I LOVE the millet-chia bread. It’s the only really good whole grain bread I can find … I also consider calories when I rate a bread ..and yours is by far the best !
Thank you to Gluten Dude for a great blog and FB page.
Thanks so much! The millet-chia is actually my personal favorite too 🙂 Glad to hear you’ve been noticing a difference. Thanks for the feedback!
I think Udi’s produces good tasting products and their GF white bread is my preference when trying to find something close to regular wheat white bread. I understand that GF ingredients are more expensive and I am willing to pay a fair price for these GF products. However, I am not willing to pay $6.29 for the pitifully small loaf at a King Soopers grocery in Denver (where Udi’s is located) when the same exact loaf is $4.99 at Trader Joe’s in central California. I understand the retailer has a hand in this but Udi’s has a say in this as well. I’m done with them. What are you paying for a loaf of Udi’s GF White bread and where are you? How much is too much?
Did they answer yet?
Okay, I see they did answer but it’s been 9 months and I just got another loaf of holey bread. Also, I don’t buy their explanation for the cost, I think the real reason is that they don’t have enough decent competition, so they can charge us whatever they want.I gotta say, their bread is good,just not good enough for me to pay the price. I’ll make my own instead.
It’s Basic Economics 101: Supply & Demand / Competition / Economies of Scale. It’s the same reason you can get a 6 pack of Budweiser for a few of dollars, but Samuel Smith will cost you in upwards of $10. If the demand were higher, more farmers would be producing GF grains, more factories would be baking GF bread, there would be more competition, distribution cost’s would drop, and the prices would drop as well. The fact is…. I’ll pay the $6 to have a reasonable facsimile of a non-GF loaf of bread. Until someone can make a loaf of GF bread taste better than Wonder bread, the prices will never come down. Unless of course, the USA adopts socialist regulations like the U.K. and forces companies to charge GF foods at non-GF prices.
I have received a coupon for a loaf, from Udi’s, because I complained about the giant holes in a loaf I bought. Now, I have asked for another coupon because I bought another unusable, holed, loaf. My gf bread is better and never has holes, but I like to save time by picking up store-bought loaves, occasionally. I guess I’m done with Udi’s until they get some quality control going. It would be a very easy thing to pull loaves on a regular interval to inspect them. There is no excuse for the poor quality of these loaves. Add in the very expensive price and it’s a deal breaker, for me.
I see I am not the only one with concerns about the giant holes throughout the bread. I continue to purchase Udi’s products because I love them. Even though I get these types of holes in my bread (probably 3 out of 10 loaves) I will continue to be a Udi’s customer. Each time I have an issue I go to their site and let them know the problem. I figure this way it gives them a chance to know that there are still issues and that they can keep working on it. I am bummed out that when I make my breakfast toast my jelly falls through them middle but all we can do is just keep letting them know they need to keep improving the product for us.
Decided to do an online search to see if I’m the only one with this issue. Guess not. So from now on I will return the holey loaves to Trader Joe’s. Maybe they will switch to Rudi’s. The poster that said 3 out of 10 are holey….my experience has been every time. Maybe it’s only 2 or 3 slices but that’s a lot with such a tiny loaf of bread.
Fill out a complaint on Udi’s web site with the tag info on the bread, they will send a replacement coupon. This is an ongoing problem you will see pics all over social media of people and pics of their hole bread. It’s a widely known problem.
Too many other options on the market now to put up with this BS. No more Udi’s here.
I will do that. Do you think if enough people do this they will correct the problem? The coupon is nice but I’d rather have a whole slice of bread for my morning toast ;o)
They’ve had this problem for years. No excuse.
I have been using Rudi’s and no issues with them .
Just went to their website. I only see a coupon for $1. Could not find any place to file a complaint. Where do you see it Cara?
go on their main site scroll down to the very bottom of the website and hit the “contact us” button. It will take you to a form you need to fill out, have the bread bag and tag near you it will ask for the upc code and product code so they can track what batch it came from. Fill out all your info and in the comments let them know whats wrong with it. It seems to have been going on for a couple years looking at dates online of when people have been having problems. If you have Rudi’s as a gluten free bread option I have not had the bread hole problem. I have had the hole problem in Udi’s 3 seperate times. I wont buy them anymore. If you fill out that form they will mail you a coupon it can take 2-3 weeks in my experience so just so you know.
Thank you Cara. I filed the complaint. Is the coupon for the entire $4.99 or the dollar one? This most recent loaf had 4 slices intact and they were at the end so smaller than the others. SO unacceptable.
I’m going to request Rudi’s at Trader Joe’s and see if our new local Whole Foods carry it.
No worries, it will cover your entire purchase price.
I just called Whole Foods. They carry the enire line of Udi’s. She said they’d had no complaints and wasn’t a bit interested in the subject. They only carry Rudi’s english muffins for now. Very strange. Udi’s must have a very powerful marketing engine.
It’s not just Udis that has that issue, oddly enough I’ve had that problem with Orowheat before I was diagnosed. I had to toss out half the loaf more than once. According to them they are air bubbles. I like Udis, for me it’s the best tasting GF bread so I put up with the occassional holes. They always refund me and it doesn’t happen often enough to switch.
i dont know about you or anyone else, but my gf friend and i have trouble eating udis breads. i have gotten sick every time. have you or anyone else had that problem?
ive posted something about it on instagram, and hash tagged it boycott udis, they got back to me saying sorry and that they will send me free coupons for their products…. if your products make me sick each time, why would i buy it?
i always have to ask about the bread at restaurants, even udis bread isnt safe for me, and i can taste it.. with in a few bites i know im done for… i dont know sorry for the rant – maybe you can write an article or do a quick poll to see if anyone else is getting sick!
thanks and love your blog.
No, I’ve never had a problem with it or any other Udi’s product. Perhaps you two are allergic to another ingredient in the bread? A lot of people with celiac disease have secondary allergies.
Agreed. While perhaps not at the top of my list taste-wise, I’m confident the ARE gluten free.
I am sick and tired of every loaf of UDIs bread having an a-hole running down the center of it.
I’ve been buying Udi’s for a while now, and just encountered my first holey loaf. Today I came online to send them a message, and Google brought me to this article. Wow, knocked my socks off! I can’t believe this has been an on-going issue for so long! This thread started two years ago, and I didn’t see any comment from Udi’s themselves. Shame on them.
After perusing what others have said, I’m going to try Canyon Bakehouse and see how it compares.
By the way, Dude, you’re a sweetie for supplying so many coupons. I went to CB’s site to order two loaves ($5×2 = $10), applied your coupon ($10-20% = $8), and then was shocked to find out that the cheapest shipping was over $10! Think I’ll venture out to a store instead. 😉
Update: Just saw your second article written earlier this year. Apparently Udi’s did indeed give you a respectful reply. My apologies.
But I still think this is a good kick-in-the-pants for me to be trying some smaller brands as you suggested. The only other one I’ve really enjoyed is Bread SRSLY. Omg, it’s fantastically delish! Will report back on others as time goes on….
I bake my own gluten free bread because our local markets don’t carry much. But I’ve been getting large holes just under the crust. I reduced the liquid to try and prevent it, but that didn’t help. Any ideas?
You may want to check with GF Jules. She’s the bread expert. GFJules.com