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The Secret Meaning Behind Bread Packaging Twist Ties

Buying bread is something most of us do often, even daily. Yet, there are a few supermarket tricks for shopping smarter that few people are aware of, and one of them involves the color of the twist tie on bread packaging. Whether you’re looking for a plain loaf of white bread, a sweet brioche, or a rustic sourdough, you’re probably trying to find the best loaf on the shelf.

Well, the easiest way to find the freshest bread is by checking the color of the twist tie. That's right, the plastic tag or metal tie that holds the packaging of bread together can tell you on which day of the week the bread was baked.

Related: 6 Practical Tips on How to Avoid Buying the Wrong Bread

According to Reader’s Digest, commercial bread is baked and delivered on a strict schedule. New loaves are baked and stacked on supermarket shelves every day. The reason why the bread packaging is color-coded is simple - this makes it easier for employees to know which loaves are stale and need to be removed from the shelf. Bakeries usually have Wednesdays and Sundays off, so there are only five colors to remember.


The most commonly used codes are as follows:

bread color coding
  • Monday – blue
  • Tuesday – green
  • Thursday – red
  • Friday – white
  • Saturday – yellow.

If you’re worried about getting mixed up when you’re at the grocery store, here’s an easy trick to remembering the code: the colors are in alphabetical order by the day of the week.

It should be noted that while this color code is the most widely used one across the US, this isn’t a foolproof system. Your local bakery may have its own way of determining freshness. When in doubt, you can always check the expiration date. So there you have it, one more mystery of life solved, and hopefully, it will come in handy the next time you’re looking for that perfect loaf of bread.

Cover image source: Shibuya246 / Flickr

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