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RED STAR YEAST & PRODUCTS, A CO-OPERATIVE PIONEER; LEAVENING DOUGH FOR THE BREAD MACHINE INDUSTRY

 MILWAUKEE, Sept. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- When bread machines were first imported from Japan in 1988, the translated directions were difficult to read, the machines were extremely expensive, and good recipes were in short supply. According to trade reports, the cumulative number of automatic bread machines sold in 1988 was only 15,000 machines. By 1992, that cumulative figure had risen to approximately 3 million units. These weaknesses were overcome through the co-operative efforts of two American-owned and operated companies, WELBILT Appliance, Inc., pioneer of the automatic bread machine, and RED STAR(R) Yeast & Products, which produces the most diversified line of yeast products in North America.
 According to Rob Moser, president of WELBILT Appliance, Inc., which has over 50 percent of the bread machine market today, "Price points drive bread machines through, and we were the first to retail at $99.00, making bread machines affordable." He adds, "With our automatic bread machines, fresh bread, without preservatives, can be baked with minimal effort. A person can prepare to make bread in less than 5 to 10 minutes, walk away, and let the machine do the rest."
 Moser continues, "We are interested in doing whatever will make it easier for the consumer. Our co-op with RED STAR(R) was the first time a bread machine company has done promotions with an ingredient company. It's so logical; we're the razor and they're the razor blade. Consumers are in the appliance section far less frequently than they're in the ingredient section of the supermarket. RED STAR(R) provides in-store demonstrations, and now they're moving into department stores and gourmet stores. Obviously, we benefit when ingredient manufacturers promote repeated use of their products in our machine."
 Tom Lacalamita, marketing manager for WELBILT Appliance, Inc., comments specifically on their cooperative relationship with RED STAR(R) Yeast & Products, "RED STAR(R) helped us get a running start in this industry by testing our machine in their technical center. They are professionals who assist us with their technical expertise. In 1988, when bread machines were first introduced, good recipes were in short supply, but RED STAR(R) has developed quality recipes that work exceptionally well in automatic bread machines. In 1992, the wheat crop had extremely high moisture, which made making good bread very difficult. But RED STAR(R) consistently turned bad recipes into great ones. Their yeast compensates for any deficiencies in other ingredients." He adds, "They also initiate effective marketing ideas, such as the recipe club, which is now approaching 100,000 members."
 Additional support given by RED STAR(R) for the rising usage of bread machines is shown by the number of calls taken by its Consumer Service Department. After the holidays, the first week in January of 1993, an overwhelming 65 percent taken were regarding bread machines. This trend has continued. The department has answered 6,678 calls during the first four months of 1993, and 56 percent of the total calls taken have been related to bread machines. Glenna Vance, RED STAR(R) Yeast & Products' consumer services administrator, comments, "We have recently doubled our staff with degreed home economists, and we are prepared to field the flood of calls that will come in on our toll-free RED STAR(R) helpline."
 The Customer Service Department of RED STAR(R) has been recognized in the award-winning cookbook "Bread in Half the Time," by Linda West Eckhardt and Diana Collengwood Butts. RED STAR(R) is also acknowledged in Lacalamita's cookbook, "The Ultimate Breadmachine Cookbook," which is the first bread machine cookbook written by a professional from the appliance industry.
 Linda Rehberg and Lois Conway, in their book "Bread Machine Magic," state, "We used RED STAR(R) brand active dry yeast when testing the recipes in this book and recommend it." George Burnett in his book "The Breadman's Healthy Bread Book" also states, "I got the best rise with RED STAR(R) yeast." Richard Langer, author of "More Recipes For Your Bread Machine Bakery," and Norman Garrett, author of "Great Bread Machine Recipes," purchase RED STAR(R) yeast in bulk. Garrett says, "If kept in the refrigerator it will last a long time." Nicolette Dumke in her "soon-to-be-released" book, "Allergy Cooking With Ease," declares, "If possible, use RED STAR(R) Quick-Rise Yeast."
 RED STAR(R) Yeast & Products has also developed recipes for Celiacs to use in automatic bread machines. Celiacs are individuals with a digestive disorder which forbids them to eat products that contain gluten or similar proteins present in wheat, rye, oats and barley. In the past, this meant that Celiacs were prohibited from enjoying the luxury of a freshly baked loaf of bread. Fortunately, RED STAR(R) has perfected gluten-free recipes using the original all natural RED STAR(R) Active Dry Yeast.
 According to Vance, "I needed to find a bread machine durable enough to handle the fine flours used in these recipes. The doughs also do not require a second kneading or rising, so I was excited to find a machine that would easily eliminate these steps. Our gluten-free recipes work best in the WELBILT(R) ABM150R automatic bread machine with a MULTI-LOGIC(TM) program."
 Lacalamita explains why: "Our ABM150R model can be easily programmed to eliminate steps, and it was originally designed to knead heavier whole grain products, so it can handle the dough of these gluten- free recipes. RED STAR(R) has made itself invaluable to retailers with their gluten-free recipes."
 RED STAR(R) is also a pioneer in the bread machine mix industry. RED STAR(R) Yeast & Products is the leading yeast supplier and has developed co-op relationships with many key players in this industry.
 In addition, research conducted by RED STAR(R) Yeast & Products found that bread machine yeast usage accounts for 10 percent to 15 percent of home yeast usage. According to Jerry Groniger, national sales manager of the Consumer and Food Service Division of RED STAR(R) Yeast & Products, "Every 1,000,000 bread machines sold equals approximately 4 percent growth in yeast consumption, and sales for bread machines in 1993 are estimated to reach more than a million." Industry officials predict that sales will reach as high as 1.25 million in 1993, and statistics presented at the recent meeting of the Home Baking Association forecast annual sales of bread machines at 1.45 million by 1995. According to Information Resource, Inc., as of August 1993, the volume of RED STAR(R) yeast sales is up 9.6 percent on a 52-week basis versus the competition's increase of 1.3 percent.
 RED STAR(R) Yeast & Products, a Division of Universal Foods Corporation (NYSE: UFC), is headquartered in Milwaukee. It is proud to be the only major American-made/American-owned yeast company. It is the largest and most diverse producer of yeast and yeast-related products in North America. The company has a toll-free helpline to answer any questions regarding yeast or baking, 800-445-4746.
 -0- 9/22/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: The following additional information is available upon request: RED STAR(R) Yeast & Products' Celiac brochure, which includes gluten-free recipes; "Helpful Hints For Bread Machines From RED STAR(R)"; and a news release entitled, "Now Celiacs Can Bake Their Bread And Eat It, Too!" Call RED STAR(R) Yeast & Products, 800-445-4746./
 /CONTACT: Brian Thornquist of RED STAR Yeast & Products, 414-347-3894/
 (UFC)


CO: RED STAR Yeast & Products; WELBILT Appliance, Inc. ST: Wisconsin IN: FOD SU:

KL -- CL019 -- 4931 09/22/93 18:07 EDT
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