Sales of quinoa, a once-obscure Peruvian seed, have soared in the U.S. as it plays into dual trends: «Superfoods» and «gluten free.»
Quinoa Rides the ‘Superfoods,’ ‘Gluten-Free’ Waves Category: Industry Coverage The Wall Street Journal looks at the trends that have lifted sales of quinoa over the last five years … and cites trade statistics from Datamyne that measure the surge in imports and price of the Andean grain.
7/10/2014 Quinoa Rides the ‘Superfoods,’ ‘Gluten-Free’ Waves – WSJ http://online.wsj.com/articles/quinoa-rides-the-superfoods-gluten-free-waves …
Quinoa is a titan of the so-called superfoods, a loosely defined collection of produce that advocates claim have extraordinary nutritional benefits, whether it be high levels of antioxidants or omega-3s. Quinoa is lauded for its protein, fiber, iron and other minerals.
And that last part is, perhaps, where quinoa gets its extra boost up the superfood chain. Although quinoa can be made into flour, rice and pasta, it does not contain gluten. Gluten is the name given to protein found in wheat, rye and barley.
Believe it or not, quinoa isn’t a grain at all — it’s actually a [super] seed or pseudo-grain. So what’s the big hoopla about? Quinoa is one of the most nutrient-dense carbs available today.
When switching to naturally gluten-free grains like quinoa, the study found vast improvement in nutrients, most notably in protein levels, which skyrocketed from 11 g to 20.6 g.
And quinoa was able to ride the gluten-free wave. The gluten-free dietary philosophy is now a component of several diet programs, one of the most notable being the paleolithic diet. The paleo diet is the reason why, at this very moment, there are approximately 37 different types …
That changed abruptly about five years ago. Major retailers started seeking out the brand—and sales took off. Today, Ancient Harvest quinoa products—which now include quinoa linguine, quinoa mac and cheese, and quinoa hot cereal flakes, among other iterations—are sold at general retailers like Walgreens and Piggly Wiggly.
Superfoods are largely products consumed by the diet-conscious and the category is said to grow at a compounded annual rate of 16 percent in the 2018-22 period. Experts say more than the intrinsic health benefits, it is the marketing efforts that have boosted the superfoods phenomenon.