Linda Cullen, Food and Beverages Division, Bord Bia – Irish Food Board
According to Mintel, seeds were one of the hottest trends in 2016 due to their nutritional value, benefits and versatility. They can be used for snacking, in meals and as ingredients and toppings for breads, salads, breakfast cereals and yogurt.
Data from Nielsen (MAT to Oct 2016) report that sales of snacking products in Ireland reached €2.45bn increasing by +2.3% year on year. There are three snacking segments – Impulse, Take Home and Health. Impulse and Health are the biggest winners with value growing at +2.9% and+9.6% respectively. Take Home snacking is static. Sales of seeds were worth €11.1m (+7.6% yoy).
The global nuts and seeds market is expected to grow annually by 1.7% for nuts and 10% for seeds over the next five years and this trend is expected to continue well into 2017 and beyond in line with the growth in healthy snacking, functional foods and the Consumer Lifestyle Trend of Health and Wellbeing.
Ancient and sprouted grains provide a natural way to add inherent health benefits to a range of foods and drinks as well as offering new and exciting flavours. 2017 will see significant innovations in the way in which seeds are packaged and used in products, from individual snacking portions and pouches to traditional formats and a more integrated approach within existing products. Flahavan’s Quick Oats Multi seed porridge pots and sachets provide an example of introducing seeds and grains into the mainstream. Glenilen Farm are also using seeds and grains in their yoghurt products and seeds and grains such as rice, oats, spelt and quinoa are used in milk drinks and have become a strong growth sector. Chia Bia produce a range of whole and milled seeds with fruit and spices and these can be used as ingredients and toppings for salads, breakfasts, desserts and smoothies. The increasing variety of grains, nuts and seeds in non-dairy milk alternatives provides a natural source of flavour with almond milk experiencing double digit growth in the US market in recent years due to its appealing taste and nutritional value while rice, oat and barley are also making significant gains in the market.
Consumers are increasingly seeking out healthy food choices that optimise wellbeing and are looking to customise and personalise wellbeing plans for healthy living presenting opportunities for producers to meet these demands.
For further information – contact Linda.Cullen@bordbia.ie