News Real Bread Campaign

Supermarket sourfaux in the news

The scourge of sourfaux is being reported widely as the result of an investigation carried out by Which? in association with the Real Bread Campaign.

Sourdough or sourfaux? Photo by Chris Young / CC-BY-SA 4.0

Sourdough or sourfaux? Photo by Chris Young / CC-BY-SA 4.0
  • ‘Sourdough or sourfaux? Does it go against the grain if your bread is fake?’ BBC News
  • ‘Great British Fake Off: most sourdough in supermarkets is not authentic’ The Sunday Telegraph
  • ‘75% of supermarket sourdough breads don't follow authentic recipe’ The Independent
  • ‘Baking bad: store loaves fail to pass the sourdough test’ The Times
  • 'Sham sourdough: 4 in 5 loaves have wrong ingredients' Sky News

In July 2018, consumer association Which? looked at 19 loaves and asked the Real Bread Campaign to comment on which were what it considered to be genuine sourdough, and which were what it calls sourfaux.

Based on ingredients lists published online and supplied to the Real Bread Campaign by Which?, only four of the 19 loaves were made without any artificial additives or added baker’s yeast. Twelve were what the Campaign calls sourfaux, with two supermarkets not publishing ingredients lists for the remaining two.

The loaves

As reported by Which? in October 2018, the Real Bread Campaign’s opinion on the 19 loaves was:


  • Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference San Francisco Style Sourdough
  • The Celtic Bakers Organic White Sourdough
  • Waitrose 1 White Sourdough
  • Waitrose 1 Wheat and Rye Sourdough


  • Gail's San Francisco Style Sourdough
  • Gail's White Sourdough Bread
  • Gradz Bakery Oats and Flax Sourdough Bread
  • Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Sourdough
  • Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Rye and Sourdough
  • Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Medium Sliced White Sourdough
  • Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Multiseed Sourdough
  • Tesco Sourdough bloomer
  • The Polish Bakery Highlander Premium Sourdough
  • The Polish Bakery Traditional Polish Half Wheat Half Rye Sourdough Bread
  • The Rustik Bakery 5 Seed Sourdough Bread
  • The Rustik Bakery White Sourdough Bread

Ingredients list not published

  • Asda Baker’s Selection Sourdough Brown Boule
  • Morrisons The Best Brown Sourdough

Other loaves marketed as ‘sourdough’ not looked at by Which? are available from supermarkets, some of which may be made without artificial additives or added baker's yeast. Are Supermarket Bloomers (still) Pants?, the Real Bread Campaign’s more detailed report on in-store bakery and other own-brand loaves sold by UK multiple retailers, is published later this month.

The Real Bread Campaign continues to campaign for an Honest Crust Act that would, amongst other things, make mandatory full ingredients listing (including any and all additives used) for all loaves, and a legal definition of the word sourdough.

The Real Bread Campaign encourages people to buy genuine sourdough from small, independent Real Bread bakeries that help to support more jobs per loaf and to keep our high streets and local economies alive.


1 November 2023: GAIL’s contacted us to say the company subsequently removed E300 from the two products that Which? looked at and, as at November 2023, they were what the Campaign calls genuine sourdough.

Published Tuesday 2 October 2018

Real Bread Campaign: The Real Bread Campaign finds and shares ways to make bread better for us, better for our communities and better for the planet. Whether your interest is local food, community-focussed small enterprises, honest labelling, therapeutic baking, or simply tasty toast, everyone is invited to become a Campaign supporter.

Latest related news

Support our charity

Your donation will help support the spread of baking skills and access to real bread.


The Green House
244-254 Cambridge Heath Road
London E2 9DA

020 3559 6777

Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.

© Sustain 2024
Registered charity (no. 1018643)
Data privacy & cookies