Packaged bread companies aren't the only ones harvesting whole grains. Categories throughout Center Store are seeing more product introductions and increased sales. The number of introductions in whole grain pastas has tripled over the past couple years, according to the Nielsen Co. Breakfast cereal companies are also rolling out waves of new whole grain lines, with nearly 400 releases in 2007. The demand is there: A recent report from Mintel shows that 66% of cereal consumers consider whole grains important.
But the best opportunity, it seems, is in snacks. Data from Information Resources Inc. shows that 46% of consumers are looking for whole grains in their crackers, bars and cookies. Between 2005 and 2007, the number of new snacks claiming whole grains increased by 260%.
“Whole grains are really appealing to all segments right now,” said Cynthia Harriman, director of food and nutrition strategies with the Whole Grains Council.