Whole Grain Trends in Today’s Food Culture
The regenerative agriculture movement is breathing new life into alternative strains of grain as consumers are paying more attention than ever to the ingredients in the foods they eat. This interest is boosting local grain economies — particularly those using natural fermentation that increases bioavailability of nutrients in grains turned into products from bread to beer — and taking the category in a new direction, restoring flavor, discovery and nutrition to whole grains.
Case in point: Lucinda Grain Bar, James Beard Award-winning chef Edouardo Jordan’s boutique bar in Seattle, features cereals from the grass family and a curated selection of distilled beverages, craft cocktails and foods highlighting some of the rare grains from around the world and the nearby region. Although their menu is grain-based (think freekeh and einkorn bowls), there are several gluten-free grains featured on the menu, like millet, buckwheat and amaranth. 
Wellness Aspirations
The rise to diet stardom of previously obscure whole grains like quinoa (and a host of other so-called ancient grains like spelt, millet, bulgur, chia and buckwheat) underscores the beneficial fit that whole grains enjoy in today’s wellness culture. Consumer interest in whole and ancient grains is increasingly tapping into broad macro trends in modern food culture and reflects much more than the mere avoidance of traditional grains or the embracing of alternative and whole grains. Our Health + Wellness 2019 report finds that about half or more of consumers are seeking to add or increase whole grains in their diet. It reflects a modern eating landscape driven by wellness aspirations, meal fragmentation and premium snacking, and interests in “mindful sourcing.”
Gain more insights into consumers’ wellness aspirations as a baseline to help contemporize your grain-based products: Health + Wellness 2019