Ancient grains have enjoyed huge success over the past two years. GlobalData’s Product Launch Analytics database of new products showed that launches featuring terms like “ancient grains,” “chia,” or “quinoa” grew to 8.8% in 2017 from 5.9% in 2016. Use of lesser-known ingredients such as teff is also a trend to keep an eye on. Another is Tsampa, an ancient staple food of the Himalayas that’s just beginning to appear on the new products front and could signal the emergence of a new wave of ancient grains.
According to Campbell Soup, three fundamental needs driving ancient grain trends are fueling, craving and connecting. Thomas Griffiths, certified master chef and vice-president for Campbell’s Culinary & Baking Institute, said the chefs and bakers at Campbell Soup, which owns Pepperidge Farm, have been watching the popularity of these classic grains in the culinary world.
“At their core, ancient grains are incredibly versatile and have a lot of culinary potential, and there’s a lot of discovery and innovation waiting to happen,” he told Nico Roesler, Baking & Snack’s managing editor, for his April report.
The wholesome, back-to-nature appeal of these trending grains also offers a new taste adventure. Ancient grains have become the new normal on menus and retail shelves, said Bryan Cozzi, senior chef, Campbell’s Culinary & Baking Institute.
“There’s still a learning curve for consumers interested in ancient grains,” he said. “They are probably familiar with quinoa but don’t know how to use teff, for example. It’s up to us to deliver great-tasting products that help people learn about and appreciate ancient grains for all they have to offer.”
Time-tested wholesome grains never go out of style.