Experts advise marketers to promote taste first, health second, at whole grains conference

By Adi Menayang

- Last updated on GMT

Photo: Freestockphotos
Photo: Freestockphotos

Related tags Grains Whole grain

Marketers should promote the taste, flavor, and texture of whole grains more over their health benefits, experts suggested during the first day of Oldways' ‘Whole Grains Away From Home’ conference in Rosemont, IL.

“The bread aisle had white bread and brown bread, but you couldn’t tell if the brown bread really had whole grains in it without reading the nutrition label,”​ said Sara Baer-Sinnot, president of Oldways​, the non-profit behind the Whole Grains stamp.

This was 13 years ago, when the conference series first started. “Whole grains and cardboard were often mentioned in the same sentence,” ​she joked.

Today, whole grains are much more ubiquitous in American food and beverages—more of the populace knows how to cook (and pronounce) quinoa, whole grain salads are appearing in salad bars and prepared food sections of groceries, and schools are mandated to serve some ​whole grains (though there are efforts to increase the mandated requirement​ for school lunches).

Farro, teff, bulgur

Experts in the whole grains industry argued that more grains should penetrate American diets even deeper. With an image of nacho chips drizzled in cheese with a side of fries in the background, chef Ann Cooper​, an activist for healthier school lunches, called the image “the worst thing whole grains can be” ​during her presentation titled ‘Lessons from the Lunchroom’—apparently, this is the format of choice many school districts use to meet their whole grains requirement.

During the first day of the conference yesterday, presentations focused on how to market and introduce more whole grains to American diets. Cooper believes it should start early at schools, and her organization helps schools in 50 states to bring healthy and quality lunches to their pupils.

She shared that salad bars in the Boulder school district, where she is based, always have a whole grain salad option, which is quite popular among children.

Author and journalist Maria Speck​ argued that what she has found effective in promoting whole grains is to downplay the health benefits of whole grains—at least a little bit. She shared how the stereotypical attitude of healthy things having to taste bad can be detrimental.

With recipes published in her book, Speck showed ways of how freekeh, farro, polenta, and black rice can be very versatile, and when prepped properly, can be a convenient, colorful, and flavorful part of a meal. Raised in a German and Greek household, she said “I didn’t eat whole grains to be healthy, I ate it because it was tasty!”

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

Palate Predictions: Top Flavor Trends for 2024

Palate Predictions: Top Flavor Trends for 2024

Content provided by T. Hasegawa USA | 08-Jan-2024 | Application Note

As consumers seek increased value and experience from food and beverages, the industry relies on research to predict category trends. Studying trends that...

Oat Groats – Heat-treated Oat Kernels

Oat Groats – Heat-treated Oat Kernels

Content provided by Lantmännen Biorefineries AB | 06-Dec-2023 | Product Brochure

Lantmännen offers now Oat Groats: Heat-treated oat kernels, also known as oat groats or kilned oats, undergo heat treatment to inhibit enzymes that could...

Oat Beta-glucan – Clean Label Texturizer

Oat Beta-glucan – Clean Label Texturizer

Content provided by Lantmännen Biorefineries AB | 21-Nov-2023 | White Paper

In today's health-conscious world, consumers seek transparent labels and natural ingredients.

Related suppliers

Follow us

Products

View more

Webinars