Contact: Suzanne M. Holroyd or Marie A. Casey at Casey Communications, Inc., 314/962-0944, or Dee Wetzel at Schnuck Markets, Inc., 314/994-4608.

May 28, 1997

Schnucks Develops New Line of Bagel Products

ST. LOUIS -- When Schnuck Markets, Inc. discovered that its bagel supplier was no longer making the grade with its customers, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Craig D. Schnuck took a personal interest. He dispatched a special team of internal experts to research alternatives and ultimately to develop a special Schnucks recipe for 17 varieties of bagels. A separate team went to work on developing what ultimately became six cream cheese spreads, four bagel melts and eight sandwiches. After six months of development and testing, the entire bagel product line is rolling out in Schnucks' stores today. "Our new line of bagels, spreads, melts and sandwiches are absolutely delicious," Schnuck says. "Our new bagels are tastier, chewier, bigger and more nutritious than our old variety."

Since the late 1980s, Schnucks offered customers traditional water-boiled bagels. Bill Mihu, director of bakery merchandising at Schnucks, notes, "Our customers have begun using bagels in many different ways and the water-boiled bagels were not as flavorful or richly textured as our customers wanted. Our new bagels taste great and are easy to eat, whether they're eaten plain, with spreads or as sandwiches."

"We developed a new recipe then made one change at a time so we could judge the results. The result is a family of products that match the palettes of the customers we serve," Mihu says. "We also enlarged our bagels by one-half to one ounce from the original three-ounce weight without changing the price."

Advances in oven technology were one of the factors which allowed Schnucks to consider an alternative to the water-boiled bagel. As the name suggests, the water-boiled bagels are essentially cooked in water. In developing the new bagels, Schnucks used a new rack steam oven which bakes bagels in a steam environment. The result: A chewy, lighter bagel with a crispy crust.

Since bagels and cream cheese often go hand-in-hand, Schnucks also developed six new cream cheese flavors to complement the new varieties of bagels. Ed Meyer, Schnucks director of deli, seafood and carryout merchandising, said, "We learned from our customers that they wanted lighter, whipped spreads to go with their bagels. After about four months of creating new recipes, tasting and refining them, we decided upon six cream cheese varieties with a range of flavors and lighter textures we believe our customers will enjoy. All six varieties are blended in our Schnucks Kitchen so customers are assured of quality and freshness."

Schnucks' delis are using the new bagels to offer bagel melts and bagel sandwiches. The bagel melts can be heated in the store or taken home and heated. In addition, eight different sandwiches are available, ranging from roast beef and provel cheese to the traditional lox and cream cheese spread.

The new bagels are available in all Schnucks bakeries. Customers can find the new spreads and sandwiches in all of Schnucks delis.

Founded in 1939, Schnuck Markets, Inc. is a family-owned regional supermarket company with 94 stores in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas and Indiana.