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Food Formulation Trends: Ancient Grains and Sprouted Ingredients


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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


  • Executive Summary
    • Scope
    • Definitions
    • Ancient Grains
      • Table Ancient Grain Ingredients by Botanical Plant Source & Presence of Gluten
    • Heirloom Grains
    • Super Grains
    • Whole Grains
    • Multigrain
    • Sprouted Grains
    • Report Methodology
    • Key Drivers
    • Compelling Stories Resonate with Consumers
    • Consumers Encouraged to Eat More Whole Grains
    • Growing Anti-Carbohydrate Movement
    • Growth of Gluten-Free
    • Ancient Grains Positioned as Superfoods
    • Growing Interest in Non-GMO and Promoting Biodiversity
    • Introducing Variety
    • Snack Food Innovation
    • Ancient Grains Overview
    • Innovating with Ancient Grains
    • Consumers and Ancient Grains
    • Ancient Wheat Varieties Growing in Popularity
    • Barley's Ancient Grain Status: Newly Emerging
    • Gluten-Free Ancient Grains: All the More Compelling
    • Sprouted Ingredients Overview
  • Ancient Grains Containing Gluten
    • Table Ancient Grain Purchasing Rates in Last 30 Days (U.S. adult consumers)
    • Ancient Wheat Varieties
      • Khorasan and Kamut(R) Move into the Mainstream
      • Kamut(R) Trademarked Wheat
      • Kamut(R) Better Tolerated in Cases of Non-Celiac Wheat Sensitivities
    • Production and Supply of Khorasan
    • Kamut Khorasan Retail Presence Grows: Becoming a Household Name
      • Khorasan Grain and Flour at Retail
      • Kamut(R) Brand Khorasan Grain Cobranded with Target Simply Balanced
      • Kashi + Target
      • Kamut Flake & Puff Cereals - More History with Organic & Natural Consumers
      • Kamut and Khorasan Get Top Billing in Ready-to-Eat Cold Breakfast Cereals
    • Farro: Emmer, Einkorn and Spelt
    • Einkorn
      • Einkorn Gaining in Popularity
      • Nutritional Attributes: Einkorn Better Tolerated by Those Sensitive to Gluten
      • Production, Supply and Retailing of Einkorn
      • Jovial Foods Claims to be the World's Largest Einkorn Grower - in Italy
      • Jovial Foods Sells Einkorn Wheat and Products Marketed as Easier to Digest
      • Einkorn Culinary Vacations
      • North American Sources of Einkorn
      • Bluebird Grain Farms Offers Einka(R) Grain, Flour and Value-Added Foods
      • Bluebird Grain Farms Grows Both Einkorn and Emmer
      • Farro Piccolo
    • Emmer
      • Nutritional Attributes of Emmer
      • Bluebird Grain Farms Emmer Products
    • Spelt
      • Nutritional Attributes of Spelt
      • Formulating with Spelt
      • Production, Supply and Retailing of Spelt
      • Cereal and Pasta Products Featuring Spelt
    • Red Fife Reintroduced to Canada, Spreading to the USA
      • Red Fife Featured in Cereal and Snacks
    • Freekeh
      • Retail Products Featuring Freekeh
    • Barley: The Unrecognized Ancient Grain
      • Nutrition & Health Aspects of Barley
      • Not Gluten Free, but Less Than Wheat
      • Promoting Consumer Awareness & Use of Barley
      • Production and Supply
      • Food Uses and Applications for Barley
      • Barley Grain and Flour
        • Table Key Attributes of Organic Hulled and Organic Hulless Barley
      • Cereal Products Featuring Whole Grain Barley
  • Gluten-Free Ancient Grains
    • Gluten-Free Label Claims Now Have Meaning
    • Amaranth: From Ancient Grain to Functional Food
    • Amaranth Offers High Quality Protein and a Wealth of Minerals
    • Amaranth Health Benefits Address Heart, Cancer and Blood Sugar
    • Production and Supply
    • Taste Attributes, Product Applications & Retailing
    • Buckwheat: Beyond Pancakes and Noodles
    • Production and Supply
    • Buckwheat Foods: Traditional Foods Leveraged for Today's Diets
      • Bob's Red Mill
      • Arrowhead Mills
      • King Arthur Flour
      • Minn-Dak Growers, Ltd.
      • The Birkett Mills
      • Shiloh Farms
      • Nature's Path
      • Nutritional Contributions and Health Benefits of Buckwheat
      • Sensory Characteristics and Food Product Applications with Buckwheat
      • Soba Noodles
    • Kaniwa, Baby Quinoa, Shares Bigger Grain's Appeal
    • Millet: The Eco-Friendly Grain with an Image Problem
    • Production and Supply
      • The Ecological Benefits of Millet
      • Nutrient Composition of Millet
      • Sensory Characteristics and Food Product Applications with Millet
      • Health Benefits of Millet
    • Millet Foods: Expanding Consumer Awareness, Trial and Availability
    • Quinoa: Ahead of the Pack
    • Nutritional Powerhouse
    • Production and Supply
      • Promoting Biodiversity While Addressing World Hunger
      • Stepping Up Production in the Andes
      • Challenges of Producing Quinoa Beyond the Andes Region
      • Canadian Quinoa Production
      • The Andes Climate & Geography are Ideal for Quinoa
    • Need For Sustainable and Socially Responsible Quinoa Supply
      • Andean Naturals Works to Achieve Native Market Sustainability
      • Bolivia and USA to Draft International Quinoa Standard
      • Quinoa Grain Offerings at Retail Proliferate
      • Quinoa at Forefront of Value Added Convenience and Flavor Combinations
    • Sorghum: Plentiful in U.S., Popped Adds Appeal
    • Production and Supply
    • Hull-less, Slowly Digested Sorghum Offers Numerous Benefits
      • Sensory Attributes of Sorghum and Product Applications
    • Popular Sorghum Products: Grains, Flours and Popped as Snack Food
      • Popped Sorghum - "New" Snack Sensation?
      • Impressive Amounts of Complex Carbohydrates, Fiber, B Vitamins & More
      • Health Benefits of Sorghum
    • Teff: Following in Quinoa's Footsteps?
    • Production and Supply
      • Not Just a Staple: Teff has Cultural Significance in Africa
      • Growing Interest In and Availability of Teff in the United States
      • Catering to African Communities in the United States
  • Innovating with Ancient Grains
    • Foodservice
    • Retail
      • Breakfast and Snacking Occasions Leverage Ancient Grains
      • Ancient Grains Increase Plant Protein Options; Good for Vegans & Vegetarians
      • Ancient Grains Facilitate Shorter, Simpler, Cleaner Labels
      • Ancient Grains Support Whole Grain and Gluten-Free Claims
    • Popularity of Ancient Grains Evident Across Categories
    • A Perfect Fit: Target's Simply Balanced Brand & Ancient Grains
      • Table Target Corporation 2015 Simply Balanced Brand Items with Ancient Grains
    • Cereal & Granola Accommodate a Broad Range of Ancient Grains
      • Cheerios + Ancient Grains Claims to be First Mainstream Ancient Grains Cereal
      • One Degree Organics Offers Cereals with Sprouted & Traceable Ancient Grains
      • Granolas Boost Protein and Fiber with Ancient Grains
      • Nature's Path - Kirkland Cobranded Ancient Grains Granola at Costco
      • Cascadian Farm Ancient Grains Granola Includes Quinoa, Spelt & Kamut
      • Kellogg's Hot Cereal Highlights Quinoa (but not Barley)
      • Quaker Bets Big on Quinoa: Included in Name and Product
    • Breads Feature Ancient Grains Individually and as Blends
      • Ancient Grains Named in Pepperidge Farm Bread
      • Rudi's Organic Bakery - A Pioneer of Ancient Grains
        • Table Rudi's Organic Bakery Breads Containing Ancient Grain Ingredients
        • Table Rudi's Organic Bakery Specialty Products Containing Ancient Grain Ingredients
      • Ancient Wheats Featured in Breads from One Degree Organic Foods
    • Ancient Grains in Crackers and Chips Lend More Variety and Nutrients
      • Target's Simply Balanced Brand Includes Ancient Grain Crackers
      • Canadian Popped Supergrain Snacks
    • Ancient Wheat Positioned as Healthier in Baking Mixes
    • Ancient Grains Boost Interest & Nutrition in Side Dishes & Dinner Mixes
      • Annie's Organic 5-Grain Elbows & White Cheddar Leverages Ancient Grains
      • Urbane Grain: Indulgent, Restaurant Quality Spin on Ancient Grains
    • Quinoa Entrée Salad Targets Vegans, but is it Moving Mainstream?
    • Ancient Grains + Dairy
      • Yogurt Makers Leverage Ancient Grains & Seeds
    • Doubly Appealing: Gluten-Free Made Possible with Ancient Grains
    • Gluten-Free Cereal, Granola & Muesli Feature Ancient Grains
      • Special K Gluten Free Includes Sorghum
      • Purely Elizabeth Gluten Free Cereals Include Amaranth & Millet Puffs
      • Chia Seeds Drive Superfoods Trio for Long Lasting Energy
      • Nature's Path Organic Oatmeal
    • Gluten-Free Snack Bars Feature Ancient Grains
      • Pure Adds New Flavor Variety of Ancient Grains Bars
      • Kind Health Grains Bars Feature Popped Sorghum
    • Ancient Grains Expand Popped & Puffed Gluten-Free Snacks
      • Ancient Grains Featured in Boomchickabites and Boomchickapuff
    • Gluten-Free Crackers & Chips Highlight Ancient Grains
      • Snyder's-Lance Launches Gluten-Free Ancient Grains Tortilla Snacks
      • Crunchmaster Features Ancient Grains For Gluten Free & Whole Grain
      • Enjoy Life Foods Delivers Allergy-Free Plant Protein with Ancient Grains
        • Table Ancient Grains & Related Ingredients in Enjoy Life Foods Baking Mixes
      • Krusteaz Gluten-Free Mixes Rely on Sorghum & Millet, but Don't Flaunt It
      • Millet & Chia in Purely Elizabeth Gluten Free Cookie Mixes
    • Gluten-Free Burritos and Veggie Burgers
    • Ancient Grain Ingredients Foster Innovation
    • Andean Naturals Fair Trade Quinoa Ingredients and Products
      • Quinoa Protein Concentrate on the Horizon
    • Glanbia Nutritionals Launches "Next Generation" Ancient Grains
    • Bay State Milling
      • Table Bay State Milling Ancient Grain Product Portfolio
      • 5th Generation Seed, LLC
    • Ardent Mills Ancient Grains and Sustagrain(R) Barley
      • Ancient Grains Portfolio: Gluten Free and Allergen Free
      • Gluten Free Multigrain Blends and Custom Blends with Ancient Grains
      • Sustagrain(R) Barley Stands Alone
    • Bunge North America - Not All About Oil
    • SK Food International
    • FutureCeuticals: Ancient Grains with USDA Patented Technology
      • Quinoasure(R): Quinoa with Enhanced Functional and Nutritional Properties
      • Great River Organic Milling: Ancient Grains for Commercial Customers
  • Sprouted Ingredients Head Mainstream
    • Sprouting Needs Active Marketing
    • Benefits of Sprouting
    • Sprouting Process: Art or Science?
    • Sprouted Grains & Health
    • Industrial Sprouted Grain Ingredients
      • Ardent Mills Identifies Performance & Formulation Benefits of Sprouting
      • BeneGrain Sprouted Wheat & Rice Flours Launched by Bay State Milling
      • Gabiotein Sprouted Rice Protein from AIDP
      • To Your Health Sprouted Flour Company (TYH)
      • FutureCeuticals Precision Sprout Ingredients Tailored for Functional Foods
        • Table FutureCeuticals SproutGarden(R) Sprouted Vegetable, Legume & Grain Powders
    • Retail Sprouted Grains and Other Sprouted Ingredients
      • Sprouted Einkorn Flour
      • One Degree Organics Promotes Sprouted Veganic Flours
      • Shiloh Farms Sprouted Grain and Legume Flours
        • Table Shiloh Farms Sprouted Organic Wheat Flours
        • Table Shiloh Farms PureLiving(R) Sprouted Organic Non-Wheat Grain & Seed Flours
        • Table Shiloh Farms PureLiving(R) Sprouted Organic Legume Flours
      • Arrowhead Mills Sprouted Flours and Pancake Mix
      • To Your Health Sprouted Flour Company: Sprouted Ingredients Beyond Grains
        • Table To Your Health Sprouted Flour Company Retail Sprouted Ingredients Sold Online All Marketed as Organic Except When Otherwise Indicated
    • Formulating with Sprouted Ingredients
    • Companies Committed to Sprouting
      • Living Intentions, LLC: Recognizing the Value of Sprouted Ingredients
        • Table Living Intentions Gone Nuts! Raw & Sprouted Nut Blends
        • Table Living Intentions Superfood Cereal: Sprouted Ingredients by Variety
        • Table Living Intentions Sprouted Trail Mix: Super Fruit, Nut & Seed Blends
      • Two Moms in the Raw
      • Essential Eating Sprouted Foods
    • Retail Categories & Brands With Sprouted Ingredients
      • Bread
      • Angelic Bakehouse Sprouted Bread Rises in Popularity
      • Sprouted For Life: Sprouted Ingredients in Vegan, Gluten-Free Bread
      • One Degree Organics Bread Features Sprouted Veganic Ancient Wheat
      • Shiloh Farms Sprouted Breads - A 70+ Year Tradition
    • Cereal
      • Arrowhead Mills Offers a Range of Sprouted Cereals and Granola
      • One Degree Organics Expands Line of Sprouted Grain Cereals
        • Table One Degree Organic Foods Sprouted Grain Cereals Launched in 2013
    • Non-Dairy Milk Beverages
    • Salty Snacks
      • Simply Sprouted Way Better Snacks Emphasize Health & Nutrition
      • Shiloh Farms Whole Wheat Pretzels with Sprouted Whole Wheat
    • Sprouted Side Dishes and Grain Products
    • Pizza
    • Foodservice
  • Consumer Purchases of Ancient Grains and Sprouted Ingredients
    • Overall Patterns
    • Patterns by Type of Ancient Grain
      • Table Consumer Usage Rates for Ancient Grains: By Type, 2015 (U.S. adults)
    • Purchasing Patterns by Product Types Featuring Ancient Grains
      • Table Consumer Purchasing Rates for Ancient Grains: By Grocery Product Type, 2015 (U.S. adults)
    • Consumer Motivations for Seeking Out Ancient Grains
      • Table Top Consumer Motivations for Eating Ancient Grains, 2015 (among U.S. adults who buy menu or grocery items with ancient grains)
    • Consumer Motivations for Seeking Out Sprouted Ingredients
      • Table Top Consumer Motivations for Eating Sprouted Grains/Ingredients, 2015 (among U.S. adults who buy menu or grocery items with sprouted ingredients)

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