Tortillas evolve to American food staple

by Beth Day
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The tortilla category continues to experience tremendous growth and a brighter future.

Who doesn’t enjoy the taste of a fresh, warm tortilla? After all, they have become a food staple in American homes. The US tortilla industry has seen growth that’s been influenced by an ever-increasing Hispanic population and the continued popularity of Mexican foods and perception of ethnic cuisine. Tortilla manufacturers are meeting consumer preferences by creating products that offer fresh, healthier alternatives, more variety and new usage options that expand beyond traditional Mexican dishes.

Fastest growing bakery segment

Globally, the bread and baked goods market is expected to grow by approximately $310 billion by late 2015, according to Transparency Market Research (TMR). And tortilla markets have flourished over the past five years, making it the fastest growing segment within the baking industry, according to an IBISWorld report on tortilla production in the US market.

“The tortilla industry has enjoyed a 9 to 10% rate of growth over the past 10 years, due in large part to an increase in the Hispanic population and to the growing popularity of tortillas among non-Hispanic consumers,” said Jim Kabbani, CEO, Tortilla Industry Association (TIA). The group represents tortilla manufacturers, as well as suppliers and distributors around the world, and companies with interests in the rapidly expanding industry.

According to TIA’s “State of the Market Report” at last year’s 2014 Technical Conference, total sales for flour and corn tortillas reached slightly over $11 billion in 2013.

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