29 Apr 2019
Consumers are becoming increasingly conscious and critical about the health benefits that are linked to the foods they eat. Whole grain is seen as a power ingredient, perfectly in line with the market trends, as they’re considered to be both healthy and tasty. In a recent Taste Tomorrow study, 81% of Canadian respondents said that they choose whole grains for their health benefits and 75% stated that whole grains add taste to the bread.
In addition, Canadian consumers stated that grains and seeds were the healthiest baked goods ingredient, with whole grains following closely behind. Despite media hype about low-carb and grain-free fad diets, 96% of consumers tell us their whole grain consumption has either increased or is holding steady compared to five years ago. Nearly 64% of consumers say they are making at least half of their grains whole, and about half of them almost always choosing a whole grain option.
Whole grain products include the germ (the nutrient-rich inner part), endosperm (the starchy middle layer) and bran (the outer layer) of the grain. Whole grain products were consumed this same way centuries ago and now, consumers are looking to go back to the simplicity of whole grain – drawn to nutritional benefits and authentic taste of this power ingredient.
Research shows that people who eat foods higher in fiber such as whole grains, may have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. In fact, the latest version of the Canadian Food Guide, released this year, states that one-quarter of your plate should be dedicated to whole grains. Whole grains are higher in fiber, vitamins and minerals when compared to refined and enriched grains. Refined grains, for example, have had some parts of the grain removed during processing. Whole grains are power ingredients because they include all the parts of the grain and contain more fiber than other grains such as refined grains. Hence, why including whole grain foods in your diet is a healthier choice. (Canadian Food Guide)
We hear a lot about ancient grains these days, which doesn’t come as a surprise. The increased popularity can be linked to the trend of consumers’ strong desire to return to the basics. Consumers not only want to know where their food comes from, but they also want it to have a unique story that makes eating an experience. More than half of shoppers are interested in ancient grains, with 40% consuming them at least once a week, and over 20% of consumers willing to pay a premium for ancient grain baked goods.
Although all grains are technically “ancient”, the Whole Grain Council defines them as grains that have remained largely unchanged over the last several hundred years. Bakers have a diverse range of ancient grains at their disposal, with each one contributing a unique appearance, flavour and texture.
Working with ancient grains can help you offer a variety of breads with an extensive colour palette – from cream to yellow, as well as reds and browns. Sharing the unique grains present in your breads, and the benefits they offer, is a sure way to garner customer interest. They look good and taste even better.
With the growing interest and knowledge of consumers about grains and seeds, it is fair to say that using whole grains and playing with a variety of grains, is a great way to differentiate and bring innovation to the bread category.
At Puratos, we have our range of easy-to-use grain and seed mixes named Puravita, that offer vitality by bringing you the taste and satisfaction you expect from whole grains; making them the perfect contributor to a healthy, balanced diet filled with endless enjoyment.
This article has been written by Danielle Aucoin, Product Manager – Bakery, Puratos Canada. She has 10 years of experience in the Canadian bakery industry – in both the retail and foodservice markets and shares a passion for innovation and baked goods.