News / Real Bread Campaign

Shop The Sourfaux Suspects!

Check, snap and post on social media.

Sourdough + yeast = sourfaux. Credit: Chris Young / www.realbreadcampaign.org CC-BY-SA-4.0

Sourdough + yeast = sourfaux. Credit: Chris Young / www.realbreadcampaign.org CC-BY-SA-4.0

As well as celebrating genuine sourdough bread (and the people behind its rise), starting this #SourdoughSeptember the Campaign is encouraging people to Shop The Sourfaux Suspects.

What is sourfaux?

If a product is named or marketed using the word sourdough, but is in fact made using additives and/or leavened with anything other than a sourdough starter culture, it’s what the Real Bread Campaign calls sourfaux.

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Limited edition: Only available until 30 September 2022.

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This applies to everything with the word ‘sourdough’ in its name or marketing: loaves, buns, baguettes, flatbreads, pizza, crumpets...

  1. Check the ingredients list of a product with the word sourdough in its name or marketing*
  2. Snap a photo of the list if it includes yeast and/or any additive. Ideally also take one that shows the word sourdough on the packaging/marketing.
  3. Post your photo(s) on social media, including appropriate hashtags and the @name of the product manufacturer/brand (and the retailer, if different). See below for suggestions.

If a retailer chooses not to display the ingredients list for a baked product sold unwrapped, post a photo and ask them to do so.** 

*Such as the phrase ‘with sourdough’ in big, friendly letters on the front/side of the pack.

** Though a full ingredients list isn’t currently mandatory for food that is sold unwrapped in the UK, nor are the marketing claims that plenty of retailers choose to spend money and space printing instead. 

Suggested wording

Please edit as appropriate, adding/removing the bit about yeast or additives, if necessary, and picking relevant hashtags.

Alternatively, feel free to come up with your own post that includes the key hashtags #RealBreadCampaign #sourfaux #sourdough and (during September) #SourdoughSeptember.

Twitter

Dear @name, Because you’re marketing this using the word #sourdough but make it with yeast and at least one additive, it’s what @RealBread calls #sourfaux. Will you either change the recipe or drop the word sourdough, please? #SourdoughSeptember #RealBreadCampaign

Instagram/Facebook

@name, Because you’re marketing this using the word sourdough but make it with yeast and at least one additive, it’s what @RealBreadCampaign calls sourfaux. Will you either change the recipe or drop the word sourdough, please? 
You can find out more at www.realbreadcampaign.org
#SourdoughSeptember #RealBreadCampaign #sourfaux #sourdough
#bread #freshbread #baker #bakery #baking #instabread #bakersofinstagram #breadstagram #breadbosses #breadlover #breadlovers #igbreadclub #ilovebread #sourdoughbread #sourdoughbaking #sourdoughlove #wildyeast #artisanbakery #artisanbread #consumerrights #consumerprotection #tradingstandards #supermarkets #supermarket #grocerystore #food
(Instagram allows a maximum of 30 hashtags in a post)

Why this matters

Many people see the word ‘sourdough’ and understand it to mean a fundamentally different product that is less processed (or 'more natural') or otherwise ‘better’. In some cases, the perception is based on subjective factors of flavour, texture and aroma, which skilled, experienced Real Bread bakers have established as hallmarks of sourdough bread. 

Objectively, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that there might be a range of nutritional and health benefits to making bread by the sourdough process, which can’t be generated to the same extent (or perhaps at all) if made by a different process. Some people find that bread made by the sourdough process is the only sort they can eat without problems.

Charging shoppers a premium while undercutting small bakeries

Perhaps seeing sourdough as an ‘aspirational brand’, in which Real Bread bakers have nurtured shoppers’ trust and goodwill, an increasing number of industrial loaf fabricators and other crafty bakers want a slice of the action. The trouble is, not all are willing to invest the time, specialist skills and knowledge necessary to craft bread by the sourdough process. 

Being cheaper to manufacture, especially when done at scale, sourfaux is typically sold at a lower price than a small, independent bakery can craft genuine sourdough. We believe this to be unfair competition and also misleading to shoppers, especially as companies tend to sell sourfaux at a premium price compared to other products in their own ranges.

Despite the UK government apparently having little appetite to protect shoppers and small bakery businesses, the Real Bread Campaign continues to lobby for an Honest Crust Act of improved composition, marketing and labelling legislation.

Shop The Sourfaux Suspects is a follow up to Stick One On ‘em, the Real Bread Campaign’s first awareness-raising initiative, launched in April 2009.

Published 20 Sep 2022

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.

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