General

Lender’s Relaunch with New Recipes, Packaging

Lender's Relaunch with New Recipes, Packaging

NEW PORT, CONN. — Just over two years after the brand was acquired by Bimbo Bakeries USA, Lender’s Bagels launches with new recipes and flavors, updated packaging and its first-ever social media advertising campaign. The initiatives are part of the celebration of the brand’s 95th anniversary.

The history of Lender’s Bagels goes back to 1927, when Harry Lender started the New York Bagel Bakery in the family garage in New Haven, Conn. As the business grew in the late 1950s, Harry’s sons, Murray and Marvin, began freezing the bakery’s bagels to meet consumer demand, thawing them for larger weekend sales. This technique proved to be the catalyst for much of the future success for the company and the product.

The Lender brothers became owners of New York Bagel Bakery in 1960. In 1965 they changed the name to Lender’s Bagels and built their first industrial facility. Originally 6000 square meters, the factory doubled in its first year under the leadership of the brothers. Growth continued and additional facilities were opened over the next 20 years.

Lender’s Bagels was sold to Kraft Foods in 1985, allowing Marvin and Murray Lender to devote more time to community development and nonprofit work. In 1996, Kellogg acquired Lender’s from Kraft for $455 million, but after just three years sold the company to Aurora Foods for $275 million. Four years later, Aurora sold Lender’s to Pinnacle Foods. Conagra Brands acquired the Lender’s Bagels business as part of its $10.9 billion acquisition of Pinnacle Foods in 2018. Lender’s current owner, BBU, Horsham, Pa., acquired the company and a bakery in Mattoon, Illinois, in January 2020 for an undisclosed quantity.

“While bagels are now an everyday breakfast staple, that wasn’t the case when Lender’s Bagels first started,” says Carl Lender, son of Murray Lender and grandson of Harry Lender. “Lender’s Bagels has continuously reinvented itself to meet the needs of consumers around the world. My grandfather provided the foundation that built a strong reputation locally. My father used his marketing talent to build a strong reputation and brand awareness nationally, while my uncles Marvin and Sam focused on the innovation and efficiency that made it all possible. Now I’m excited about this new chapter of Lender’s Bagels, 100 is just around the corner.”

The restart includes:

  • Reformulate the bagels with healthier ingredients, including no high fructose corn syrup
  • Rebranding that brings out the bold, blue color of the Lender and highlights the history of Lender’s Bagels on the new packaging, with recalls to the brand’s founding
  • New flavors including the launch of Lender’s blueberry frozen bagels
  • Reaching consumers directly for the first time in over 25 years with a fun social and digital media campaign
  • A partnership with the LeBron James Family Foundation to sponsor programs for students and families, as well as the Lender’s Dining Hall at the I PROMISE Village in Akron, Ohio.

“Lender’s Bagels is a beloved American brand with an inspiring history and a happy personality that many remember fondly,” said Jill Matthews, director of marketing innovation and strategy at BBU. “Our goal is to reintroduce the newly improved Lender’s Bagels and celebrate 95 years of this great-tasting, fun brand.”

Rebranded and reformulated Lender’s Bagels are now rolling out and can be found in the refrigerated or frozen sections of supermarkets across the country.