Hitting the Shelves: Global Trends -- August 2008
Wheat prices have reached record highs, having doubled in recent years, and poor harvests have led to reduced stocks. In addition, many farmers are switching to maize to supply the growing demands for bio-fuel. All of which is leading to a need to find alternative grains as sources of carbohydrates and other nutrients. These alternative grains are, in many cases, ancient and traditional grains that have fallen into neglect over the years and are now having a revival. Grains such as kamut, spelt, teff, amaranth and quinoa are becoming more popular and growing across several categories such as pasta, bread and even ready meals. In France, Alter Eco introduced quinoa biscuits with milk chocolate, a Fairtrade product using Bolivian quinoa, cane sugar from Paraguay and cocoa from Ghana. The company claims the quinoa flour gives the biscuit sticks a subtle and unique hazelnut flavor. The product is unique, as it is one of the first biscuits with quinoa in the market, opening new opportunities for the use of ancient grains.