MUNDANE MYSTERIES: What Do the Colored Tags/Ties On Bread Mean?

Among the things you should rightly check when grocery shopping (price tags, nutrition labels, ingredient listings), there’s one other packaging point to consider, namely when you’re in the bakery section: the color of the tag or twist tie on the bag of your loaf of bread. Why? Because it can actually tell you whether a loaf is fresh or past its prime. But what do those colors mean?

Most brands of bread use twist ties or tags that are color-coded by day of the week, so stores know exactly how long something’s been sitting on the shelf. Most stores pretty much use the same standard system: a blue tag for loaves baked on Monday, green for Tuesday, red for Thursday, white for Friday, and yellow for Saturday. If you’ll only accept the freshest bread possible for you & your family, then think about shopping on days other than Wednesday & Sunday, which are when a good many bakers & bakeries take the day off.

The system might seem complicated at first blush, but it’s actually fairly easy to remember the order, since the first letter of the color names are in alphabetical order for each day of the week, going from B for blue on Monday to Y for yellow on Saturday. The tag system is very good at helping to ensure loaves of bread don’t sit on shelves for several days, so you’re less likely to find anything on the weekend that was baked at the beginning of the week.

Knowing which colors stand for which days, you’re able to look for those that have been stocked as close as possible to the same day that you’re shopping. And who doesn’t want to get the best bread for your “bread” (money)?

Got a Mundane Mystery you’d like solved? Send me a message via social media (@AndyWebbRadioVoice), or shoot me an email at [email protected].

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