Bakers Journal

Ancient grains case shipments up: NPD Group

January 3, 2018
By Bakers Journal

Chicago – Grains, like quinoa, amaranth, farro, and spelt, which were eaten on a daily basis by ancient civilizations, are growing in popularity again because of their perceived health benefits compared to processed wheat grains, according to research by The NPD Group.

Case shipments of ancient grain categories by broadline distributors to U.S. foodservice outlets increased by double digits over the past year, according to NPD’s SupplyTrack service, which tracks every product shipped from major foodservice distributors to commercial and non-commercial foodservice operators.

Case shipments of quinoa, which is the most widely used ancient grain, increased by 18.5 per cent in the year ending October 2017 compared to same period year ago, NPD said in a news release. Two ancient grains not as commonly known, spelt, a distinct type of whole grain wheat, and farro, a whole grain similar to barley, quinoa, and wheat berries, also realized double-digit growth in case shipments. Case shipments of amaranth, a staple food of the Aztecs and comparable to rice or maize, increased by 19.4 percent in the period, reports NPD.

Research suggests different varieties of rice are holding their own against the popularity of ancient grains in terms of case shipments. Basmati rice, a unique species of rice originating from India, is also popular with foodservice operators. Case shipments of the aromatic rice increased by 20.3 per cent in the year ending October 2017 compared to same period last year. Calrose rice, a medium-sized rice that comes from California, increased foodservice case shipments by 10.4 per cent.

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