FACT CHECK Does Sunbeam Bread's holiday season packaging feature a faith-based message?
Claim: Sunbeam Bread's holiday season packaging features a faith-based message.
Example: [Collected via Facebook and Twitter, September 2015]
This is why we pay a little extra and support sunbeam bread all year round. Many don't notice but around this time if year every year they put sunbeam girl in praying position and in front of her on their "bread" it says "not by bread alone. Not many corporations like this one are willing to make this kind of stand in the open and that's why will support them. Check it out the next time you go to buy bread.
— @Curt Golden (@curtandnan) September 22, 2015
Origins: Sunbeam Bread's ever-present Little Miss Sunbeam mascot has appeared in a variety of poses and settings throughout the brand's history, including the guise of a girl praying alongside the phrase "not by bread alone" (a reference to Matthew 4:4 ("Jesus answered, 'It is written: "Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God"'") that appears each holiday season on the bread's packaging and occasionally on billboards in the South:
Quality Bakers of America owns and franchises the Sunbeam Brand (Flowers Foods is the largest distributor of Sunbeam), and their web site features the "praying" photograph amid a history and gallery of several Little Miss Sunbeam works:
The image of Miss Sunbeam® was created by a well known children's book illustrator named Ellen Segner during the early 1940's. Miss Sunbeam® was drawn from life by Ellen Segner in Washington Square Park in New York City and was based upon her observation over several days of a blonde-haired, blue-eyed little girl playing in the park. From these drawings, she developed the original oil painting of Miss Sunbeam®, which hangs today in the offices of Quality Bakers of America. Ellen Segner produced over 30 original oil paintings of Miss Sunbeam® that were used for print and outdoor advertising in the 40's, 50's and 60's across the USA.
There is specific Little Miss Sunbeam artwork tied to each month, such as July (when Independence Day falls):
While the Sunbeam Bread packaging and advertising in question have always been seasonal, some consumers mistakenly assume the absence of the faith-based imagery during the non-holiday season means it has been permanent retired by the brand:
Standard packaging is reinstated after each holiday season, so the image of Little Miss Sunbeam praying has not been retired or removed.
Last updated: 22 September 2015
First published: 22 September 2015