Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Dec 7, 2013 03:32 PM

Why white bread is cheaper than brown?

The white bread is made from refined flour. The brown bread is made from whole grain (usually). The process to get refined flour is more complicated than whole-grain-wheat since several levels of millings are used.
So, why the brown bread is more expensive?
The only reason I can think of is that the whole-grain-flour is not rising as well as refined one because it has bran and other stuff. Is this the only reason?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Sometimes less demand leads to higher prices. Not that I understand that at all. Actually, one would think the opposite would be true. So I am as mystified as you about how manufacturers set prices. They don't seem to follow a practical, common sense approach when determining prices.

    1 Reply
    1. re: i_am_Lois

      the market is their common sense. production runs are likely larger for white breads, reducing unit costs.

    2. For the same reason plain yogurt is more expensive than flavored. In other words, no idea.

      1. People who want whole grains are willing to pay more for it.

        2 Replies
        1. re: chowser

          And most whole wheat breads don't have much whole grains in there.

          1. re: chowser

            People who want whole grains are willing to be lied to about it.

            if you want whole grain wheat, buy graham flour.

          2. I wonder if shelf life is an issue? Whole wheat flour goes rancid much faster than refined flour, so maybe whole wheat bread has a shorter shelf life?

            1 Reply
            1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

              Rancidification of flour is on the order of months.
              Staling of bread is on the order of days.

            2. <conspiracy theorist> after they bleach all the flour for the nothing bread, then they have to re-dye it for the 'whole wheat' type </wack-job>

              I was sort of serious, but truly? it's all about perceived value. you can charge more if folks think the quality is greater. on a wild tangent, it's why a piece of furniture isn't stained black with aniline dye, no, it's "ebonized". same idea.

              3 Replies
              1. re: hill food

                Yes indeed. if you want actual whole wheat bread, make it yourself out of graham flour.

                What is labeled "whole wheat" is really "high fiber" (aka the expensive germ is used for other products, because American consumers are stupid).

                1. re: Chowrin

                  aren't you an american consumer?

                  1. re: alkapal

                    Not of the ilk that buys "whole wheat" labeled bread and tells myself it's actually whole wheat.

                    Gluten-free half the time isn't either, ya know?