It's the $10 million question you've never cared to ask: What's the best way to secure a bag of bread?
In one corner, the humble twist-tie—simple but more labor-intensive. In the other, plastic clips—less work but more room for error. You may not even notice which tiny piece of equipment is safeguarding your loaf, but in the baking industry,
it's a debate that has been raging for more than 50 years, and a market that Businessweek estimates to be worth $10.6 million annually.
Don't expect a winner anytime soon. "We feel, based on surveys we've done, that the twist-tie is consumer-preferred, but of course the clip people will tell you the same thing about their product," says a marketing rep for a twist-tie maker. "I think the two methods will always co-exist."