Wholegrains, new grains, fibre-content all among consumer-preferred trends in US

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 3rd January 2012

In the December 2011 issue of Food Technology magazine, published by the US-based Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), contributing Editor A. Elizabeth Sloan writes about the latest whole grain trends in food:

1.     Food marketing claims relating to the benefits of whole grains are now the most sought after health claims on food packages, followed by claims about dietary fiber, according to the Food Marketing Institute’s (FMI) 2011 U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends report.

2.      The number of ‘whole grain products’ has increased nearly twenty-fold between 2000 and 2010 according to Mintel’s Global New Products Database.

3.      More consumers look for the “100 percent whole wheat” descriptor on foods, more than they look for “a full serving of vegetables or fruit” , according to Technomics Inc.’s 2010 Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report.

4.     Results of a 2009 Kellogg’s survey  are said to reveal more than one-third of adults were eating whole grains simply because they enjoyed the taste:  Thirty-six percent said this  in 2009 , compared with  thirteen percent in 2006.

5.      HealthFocus International reported last year that 37 percent of consumers are interested in whole grains for reducing the risk of cancer, 36 percent for both weight management and heart health, and 35 percent to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes.

6.      Restaurants are also beginning to feature more exotic rice, ancient grains, and other lesser known grains in everything from ‘salads’ to ‘cocktails’. “Hot” items for 2011 included black/forbidden rice, quinoa, and red rice according to American Culinary Federation Chefs surveyed by the National Restaurant Association.

7.      Ancient grains like lamut, spelt and amaranth as well as flatbreads like naan, pappadum, lavash, pita and tortilla are top of the trendier ingredient charts.

8. Rice is America’s fastest-growing side dish, according to Mintel’s 2009 Side Dish—U.S. report. Whole grain brown rice is enjoying double-digit sales growth, the USA Rice Federation reports. Also, differences between specialty rices (e.g., basmati, jasmine) are becoming better-known –  to cooks and shoppers and restaurants.

9. A 2010 Quaker Oats survey found that 50% of adults selected whole grain as the most sought after attribute when choosing breakfast foods, followed by fiber (47%). Whole grain was a very important snack characteristic for 96% of frequent snackers in Mintel’s 2011 Salty Snack—U.S. report.

Refer more reading:   Food Technology article