Food Formulation Trends: Ancient Grains and Sprouted Ingredients

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Published Aug 28, 2015 | 172 Pages | Pub ID: LA5525870

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Food Formulation Trends: Ancient Grains and Sprouted Ingredients

While ancient grains have been popular for several years, Packaged Facts proprietary consumer research shows that quinoa continues to be the one most purchased by U.S. adults. Despite recent speculation, quinoa fatigue has not set in, and lesser known ancient grains are selling more at retail and they are also being used more in formulated products. SPINS Trendwatch reported dollar sales growth of specific ancient grains for the 52 weeks ending July 13, 2014 as +686% for Kamut®, +363% for spelt, +159% for freekeh, +123% for amaranth, +58% for teff, +39% for farro and +35% for quinoa. This is happening as ancient grains move from the natural and organic channel into conventional supermarkets and mass merchandise stores. Quinoa’s popularity continues to spread across the supermarket as it finds its way into a growing number of product categories that include everything from beverages to chocolate bars.

Menu items containing quinoa and other ancient grains are also more readily found in casual restaurant and bakery café chains. Ancient Grains, Whole Grains in Kids’ Meals and Gluten-Free were among the top 20 trends noted in the fall 2014 National Restaurant Association’s What’s Hot in 2015 survey conducted among nearly 1,300 chefs. Top trends among starches and side items were Non-wheat Noodles and Pasta (#1), Ancient Grains (#2) and Quinoa (#3).

More readily sourced and generally less expensive ancient grains, such as sorghum and barley, are increasingly becoming the workhorses behind “ancient grain” labels, in products typically based on conventional oats, corn or rice. There is also a strong association between ancient grains and whole grains and the use of gluten-free ancient grain ingredients and gluten-free, non-GMO and vegan retail product claims. Sharing the limelight with ancient grains for consumer attention are sprouted grains, seeds and nuts, promising ease of digestibility and enhanced nutritional value in terms of protein, amino acids and micronutrients. Sprouted seeds and nuts offer the advantage of being gluten-free. However to a large extent, much of the current interest in sprouting is related to both modern and ancient wheat varieties, with improved digestibility the primary focus. For wheat growers and processors, consumer interest in sprouted wheat could help bolster sagging retail demand for wheat products shunned by the growing number of non-celiac consumers avoiding gluten or carbohydrates altogether.

Scope of Report

This report takes an in-depth look into the latest ancient grain and sprouted ingredient trends at retail with a peek at foodservice to guide innovation efforts by food processors and foodservice operators and to help them better anticipate competitive moves. Food Formulation Trends: Ancient Grains and Sprouted Ingredients provides extensive discussion of individual ancient grain ingredients separated into those containing gluten and those considered gluten-free. Coverage includes grain history, production and supply, taste and textural attributes, nutrition, and retail presence. Foodservice highlights and insights associated with recent retail product launches containing ancient grains, described by category, as individual ingredients or blends, are presented. Sprouted ingredient sources and product launches are reviewed by company and category. Findings from Packaged Facts proprietary consumer survey indicating purchase rates of specific ancient grains are included.

Report Methodology

The information in this report was obtained from both primary and secondary research. Consumer data were derived from a Packaged Facts national online consumer survey conducted in April 2015 with a panel of 2,000 U.S. adults (age 18+) balanced to the national population on the primary demographic measures of gender, age range, ethnicity, geographic region, marital status, presence or absence of children in the household and household income. Numerous retailers were visited and industry leaders representing ingredient companies, retail product marketers and trade associations were interviewed or otherwise consulted specifically in conjunction with this report. A wide range of secondary sources was also leveraged including company and product websites, industry reports, videos embedded in websites, presentations obtained from seminars, workshops and conferences, trade publications, business newspapers and magazines, consumer blogs, financial blogs, social media, annual reports, 10Ks and press releases.

Who Will Benefit From This Report

Retail Food and Beverage Manufacturers and Marketers, especially those manufacturing products in the following categories (and any others that traditionally use grain or already contain ancient grains)
  • Grains/Flour
  • Bread
  • Cereal & Granola
  • Baking Mixes
  • Bars
  • Popped & Extruded Snacks
  • Crackers
  • Snack Chips
  • Dinner Mixes
  • Side Dishes
  • Meat Alternatives
  • Gluten-Free Foods
  • Vegan Foods


Food and Beverage Retailers

Ingredient Companies, especially those supplying:
  • Ancient Grains
  • Sprouted Ingredients
  • Plant Protein Ingredients
  • Gluten-Free Ingredients
  • Whole Grains
Private Label Marketing Firms

Advertising Agencies

Investment Banks

Benefits of This Report Include
  • Review of individual ancient grains as ingredients including their history, production, nutritional attributes and single ingredient retail products containing them
  • Overview of sprouted ingredient types, processing, supply and use in retail products
  • In-depth analysis of specific ancient grain usage in recent retail product launches by category
  • Identification of product positioning and claims associated with retail products containing ancient grains and sprouted ingredients
  • Packaged Facts predictions for opportunities associated with ancient grains and sprouted ingredients
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