Every grocery buyer has brand loyalty. Transplants in the mid-Atlantic sparkle when they see Utz crab chips next to Lay’s on the shelves of convenience stores, and southerners can have Capulet Montague departments on whether they come from the family of a duke or a Hellman.
But few supermarket staples have gained such international recognition as a Pennsylvania potato bun company founded by Lloyd and Lois Martin in 1955.
Now Martin’s famous potato rolls and bread are finally arriving at shoppers in Texas. HEB Austin and Houston locations now offer a wide variety of Martins carbohydrates, including long buns (also known as hot dog buns), according to a press release. real bread and butter; and whole wheat bread. Although the buns have been available to restaurants and hospitality establishments since July 2015, this is the first addition to retail stores in Texas.
Martin’s yellow turmeric buns still have their distinctive ’50s typography and have become a modern day phenomenon, partly aided by their use in Shake Shack locations around the world. While nostalgia undoubtedly fuels some of that zeal, chefs routinely get poetic about the bun’s pillow-like softness and the balance of flavor profile between savory and sweet.
That has a lot to do with the company’s standards. The publication makes hay out of consumers’ increasing turn to natural ingredients and boasts that Martin eschews high fructose corn syrup and other cost-saving ingredients in favor of unbleached wheat flour, real milk, and pure cane sugar.
The components give the potato rolls an unusually short shelf life of only three to four days on average. To cope with that, the Pennsylvania-based company hired on-site salespeople to service business.
Whether this will convince Austin customers to swap Martin’s for Texas’ ubiquitous Mrs. Baird’s remains to be seen. Given the moderate forecast for most of February, it might be time for a backyard burger taste test – arguments Mayo should be using regardless.