SUBSCRIBE

Breaking News on Food & Beverage Development - North AmericaEU edition | APAC edition

Trends > Whole grains

Supergrains! Why quinoa, farro, chia and amaranth should be in every formulator's toolkit

14-Nov-2012

Supergrains! Why quinoa, farro, chia and amaranth should be in every formulator's toolkit

'Super grains' - from farro, spelt, kamut, millet, quinoa and amaranth to chia, freekeh and teff - are high in fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. They also come with a great backstory, a wholesome, whole grain image and in many cases, gluten-free credentials.

But are ancient grains a flash in the pan or a sustainable growth trend? And which ones have the most potential?

The most popular are probably farro, spelt, quinoa, millet and chia, which are now being incorporated into everything from yogurts and crackers to beverages, says Datamonitor innovation insights director Tom Vierhile, who caught up with Elaine Watson at the Supply Side West show in Las Vegas.

"Quinoa is trending very highly at the moment. It's also very easy to use. If you can boil water, then you can cook it.

"It's also got a lot of protein and calcium, and it's gluten-free, so we're seeing it appear in breakfast cereals, cereal bars, bread and rolls, cookies, crackers, pasta and even chocolate."

Of all the super grains, chia has been the fastest grower

New product launches featuring chia have doubled in the past year on a global basis

Interest in chia, which is packed with fiber, protein, and omega-3s, meanwhile, has also exploded in the past year, with global new product launches featuring the grain doubling as product developers seek to cash in on its superfood credentials, says Vierhile.

"Of all the super grains, chia has been the fastest grower. It's also one of the most versatile. We've seen it used in everything from babyfood and cookies to a pineapple gelatin dessert."

There were 76 new product launches featuring chia in the US market between January 2010 and September 2012; compared with 56 featuring amaranth or kaniwa; 137 with quinoa; 50 with farrow or spelt; 21 with kamut; and 10 with teff.

Feeling freekeh?

One of the most interesting super grains to watch is freekeh , or wheat that has been harvested early - while it is still green - and then roasted and cracked, he says.

"It's high in protein, fiber, [gut-friendly] resistant starch, vitamins and minerals, plus [eye-friendly] lutein and zeaxanthin. It's a nutritional powerhouse."

While freekeh is niche right now - Datamonitor has only logged four new products featuring the grain in its database since 2010 - it has a lot of potential, says Vierhile.

"If you introduce a freekeh-based product right now, you'll have the market to yourself!"

According to Minnesota-based Freekeh Foods (pictured), Freekeh has significantly higher levels of fiber and almost twice as much protein as brown rice.

Manufacturers navigate greenwashing allegations

Manufacturers walk tightrope between demand for natural products and greenwashing allegations

Today’s consumers want products that are natural, sustainable and environmentally friendly, but manufacturers hoping...

Crunchies targets Millennial moms with freeze-dried fruits

Crunchies targets Millennial moms as fruit & veggie snacking gathers pace

If freeze-dried fruit conjures up images of space food, or brightly colored soggy bits...

Annie's sales set to reach $400m in fiscal 2017

Annie’s president: ‘Over the last two years we’ve added four million new households each year’

While some commentators baulked at the $820m General Mills parted with to get its...

CPG accelerator SKU blends mentorship & networking to help startups succeed

CPG accelerator SKU blends mentorship & networking to help startups succeed

Starting and growing a company is hard – especially in the highly competitive food...

Three tips for selling internationally-inspired, authentic products to Americans from industry veteran

Three tips for selling internationally-inspired, authentic products to Americans from industry veteran

Americans may be becoming more adventurous in what they eat – seeking international flavors...

Hip Chick Farms expands its portfolio

Hip Chick Farms expands its portfolio of clean, simple poultry & other frozen foods

McDonalds, Panera and other high profile food service companies took notable steps last year...

Rising animal welfare concerns push farmers & manufacturers to rethink humane agriculture

Rising animal welfare concerns push farmers & manufacturers to rethink humane agriculture

As animal welfare concerns become increasingly mainstream, farmers and manufacturers, such as the natural...

Synbio ingredients have vast market penetration, new list shows

Synbio ingredients have vast market penetration, new list shows

Synthetic biology, or GMO 2.0 as some are calling it, has vastly more penetration...

Expo West feedback 'overwhelmingly positive' for banana brittle

Barnana CMO: 'We tested banana brittle for eight months before we took it to market'

Barnana carved out virgin territory in the healthy snacks segment with its chewy banana...

Kite Hill weighs into plant ‘milk’ debate at Expo West

Kite Hill weighs into plant ‘milk’ debate: ‘Do electric cars not get to call themselves cars because they don’t have a combustion engine?’

An electric vehicle uses a very different propulsion system to the internal combustion engine,...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Top marketing strategies for natural products

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Clean label 2.0 and other top marketing strategies for natural products

When it comes to marketing products in the natural channel it seems like there...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: The opportunity for medicinal mushrooms

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: The rising opportunity for mushrooms in food and beverage

Growing awareness of the powerful health benefits of mushrooms as well as increasing demand...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Certified Transitional Organic

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Certified Transitional helps conventional farms make the switch to organic

Despite organic’s strong appeal with double-digit year-over-year growth since the early 1990s, and the...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: A closer look at protein’s rise to popularity and where it is headed

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: A closer look at protein’s rise to popularity and where it is headed

Americans’ love affair with protein shows no signs of cooling in the coming years...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Paid influencers make big impact with small budget in hot sauce category

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Paid influencers make big impact with small budget in hot sauce category

From restaurants’ fixation with ghost peppers to the presence of sriracha on dining tables...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast Countering the impact of climate change on coffee

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Countering the impact of climate change on coffee

Every year more people wake up to coffee or use it to fuel them...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Separating fact from fiction with probiotics

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Separating fact from fiction when formulating with probiotics

Once restricted to a handful of products, such as yogurt, probiotics are enjoying unprecedented...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast:marketing potential of home shopping television

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: The marketing potential of home shopping television

Home shopping television easily might be overshadowed by food and beverage companies’ growing interest...

Soup-To-Nuts podcast: How doing good can also be good for business

Soup-To-Nuts podcast: How doing good can also be good for business

In today’s highly competitive landscape, many food and beverage manufacturers try to set their...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Using food influencers to market products

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: How to select and best use food influencers to market products

While Americans are becoming more adventurous in what they eat, they often still need...

Key Industry Events

 

Access all events listing

Our events, Shows & Conferences...