Flour Market

Part
01
of two
Part
01

Consumers Attitudes Towards Flour and Grains: United States

US consumers hold different beliefs about flour and grains and their reasons for consuming them generally involve health concerns. For example, whole-grain consumption is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular illness, cancer, and mortality. Taste is another reason which will influence populations' beliefs regarding different kinds of whole grains. Some whole-grain products consumed in the US include whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, popcorn, whole-grain cold cereal, and whole-grain pasta.


US CONSUMERS AND GRAINS

BELIEFS OF US CONSUMERS ABOUT GRAINS
  • Of those who eat whole-grains, nearly 9 out of 10 (86%) do so for health benefits.
  • Four out of 10 (40%) choose whole grains because they appreciate the flavor.
  • 79% claim that the whole-grain stamp would increase their likelihood of buying a product, about half of which would also consider sugar, sodium, and other variables.
  • Among consumers, 61% said whole grains are good or bad for digestive health, and only 4.5% said whole grains are bad.
  • According to IFIC's 2019 Food and Health Report, over 80% of Americans view whole foods as healthy, edging all other food groups and nutrients mentioned except fiber (approximately 90%).
  • By contrast, less than 50% of customers perceive refined enriched grains as healthy.
  • According to the 2019 Study of the American Bakers Association, Millennials and Gen Zers commented that "full grains," "freshness," and "natural ingredients" are the most significant dietary descriptors in all baked goods product classifications.
  • HealthFocus International's Cali Amos reports that half of shoppers are interested in ancient grains, and "approximately 40% say they use ancient grains at least once a week."
  • One of the key metrics in the 2015 Food & Health Survey is that 67% of Americans believe whole grains are the most significant item they are looking for on packages.
WHY AMERICANS CONSUME GRAINS
  • Higher whole-grain consumption is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular illness, cancer, and mortality.
  • The "American Dietary Guidelines for 2015–2020" recommend that at least half of the total intake of grains come from whole grains.
  • A developing body of studies indicates that the selection of whole grains and other less processed, higher-quality carbohydrate sources, and the reduction of refined grains, in many respects improve health.
  • An Iowa Women's Health Study report related whole-grain intake with fewer fatalities due to inflammatory and infectious causes, excluding cardiac and cancer causes.
  • Compared to females who rarely or never ate whole-grain foods, those who had at least two or more servings a day were 30% less probable to have died over a 17-year period from an inflammation-related illness.
  • Eating whole grains rather than refined grains significantly reduces complete cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL or bad) cholesterol, triglycerides, and insulin concentrations.
  • Replacing refined grains with whole grains and eating at least 2 doses of whole grains per day can assist decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • The cancer details are mixed. Some trials show a protective impact of whole grains and others show none.
  • The fiber in whole grains helps avoid constipation by maintaining the stool soft and bulky, a prevalent, expensive, and aggravating issue.
  • There is evidence that eating whole grains can decrease the danger of heart disease and certain cancers. Released in January 2005, the newly amended American Dietary Guidelines suggest that half of all daily grain servings be whole grains.


US CONSUMERS AND FLOUR

US CONSUMER BELIEFS ABOUT FLOUR
  • Few consumers are fully aware of gluten. While more than 1 in 3 consumers properly identify gluten as a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, 1 in 5 know that it causes dough to rise.
  • 24% of participants defined bread as excellent for digestive health but 39% as poor. By comparison, 36% defined breakfast cereals as excellent and 12% as poor.
  • An International Dairy, Deli and Bakery Association (IDDBA) study from 2007 listed the top 10 favorite luncheon sandwiches breads. Wheat was number one, followed by Submarine/French (2), Multigrain (3), Sourdough (4), Croissant (5), Rye (6), Tortilla (7), White (8), Flatbread (9) and Pita (10).
  • Historically, white flour was believed to be the food of the wealthy while unrefined flour was seen as the food of the hard-working and poor peasants. This belief is a plausible explanation for the low consumption of whole grains in the United States compared to refined grains.
  • The trend toward lower consumption of wheat is influenced by books and blogs that suggest contemporary wheat is addictive and causes obesity and other chronic diseases and health situations.
  • Some sources make consumers believe that gluten-free or wheat-free foods are more nutritious than products that include gluten.
WHY AMERICANS CONSUME FLOUR


SOURCES CONSUMERS USE TO LEARN ABOUT NUTRITION (FLOURS AND GRAINS)

  • In a survey, more than half of the study participants (54%) said that when they wished to learn more about good eating and nutrition, they searched online and read blogs.
  • Changes in nutritional advice over the previous 15 years have developed consumer skepticism about dietitians and nutrition researchers' expert views.
  • Currently, technology has made it simpler for individuals to discover their own nutritional data, says Joana Maricato.
  • Nearly two-thirds of Americans say they are following the guidance from the Dietary Guidelines to "keep at least half of your grains whole," with most Americans eating more whole grains than they did five years ago.


OTHER FINDINGS

  • The top five favorite whole-grain foods are Whole-Wheat Bread (31%), Oatmeal (27%), Popcorn (15%), Whole-Grain Cold Cereal (15%), Whole-Grain Pasta (8%).
  • Whole grains include barley, brown rice, buckwheat, bulgur (cracked wheat), millet, oats, popcorn, quinoa, dark rye, whole-grain cornmeal, whole-grain crushed wheat, wild rice, and grain-based goods produced with 100% whole grains or their flours as described in the Food Patterns Equivalents Database (FPED).

RESEARCH STRATEGY

We began our research by leveraging a compilation of industry reports, leading publications, expert blogs, and national databases such as the National Centre for Health Statistics (NCHS) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to determine the beliefs of United States consumers hold regarding flour and grains, which would include what they consume and why they consume it. After thoroughly combing through these sources, we were able to find pre-compiled information on general beliefs of US consumers towards flour and grains and reasons for the consumption of these food products. However, some sources were found to be older than two years but were still taken into account as it is evident that flour and grains have existed for generations with minimal change in their dietary composition and also because they have served the same health benefits over the years. Therefore, these sources still provide relevant and accurate information. We noted that less information was available on why Americans consume flour. This prompted the research team to dive deeper into the matter and the results revealed that wheat is highly controversial because it contains a protein called gluten, which can trigger a harmful immune response in some individuals. However, for the Americans who consume it, it is beneficial for digestive health as highlighted in the research.
Part
02
of two
Part
02

Common Myths, Misconceptions, and Beliefs Towards Flour and Grains

People commonly believed that flours and grains have a significant effect on weight and health. Even more, that specific types of flours/grains are worse than others with regard to dieting and other health concerns. However, based on studies and research, it is believed that this may not be true.


MOST COMMON MYTHS, MISCONCEPTIONS, AND BELIEFS TOWARDS FLOUR AND GRAINS

1) BREAD IS BAD FOR DIGESTION

  • A recent survey on 3,000 people by New Nutrition Business involved participants from the United Kingdom, Spain, Australia, Brazil, and the United States.
  • According to the survey, grain-based foods received mixed reviews; as about 24% of participants consider bread as good for digestive health, while 39% of respondents feel that bread is bad for digestive health.
  • A recent report by the British Nutrition Foundation reveals that there’s little proof that bread causes bloating or other forms of digestive discomfort in healthy people; further, it states that it does not matter if modern or traditional methods are used to produce the bread.

2) PREVALENCE OF WHEAT ALLERGIES

  • Studies suggest that nearly 30% of people believe they are intolerant to one or more foods. However, the real prevalence of food intolerance is only about 1-2%.
  • Wheat allergy is one of the most common types of food intolerance among children; further, about 60% of children usually outgrow the wheat allergy by the age of 12.
  • The true prevalence of wheat allergy varies significantly from source to source. According to the Washington Post, the most conservative estimate for the incidence of wheat allergies among American's is found to be about 0.3%.

3) WHOLE GRAIN IS HEALTHIER THAN ENRICHED OR REFINED GRAINS

  • According to the IFIC'S Food and Health Report 2019, more than 80% of consumers perceive whole grains as healthful, edging all other food groups and nutrients listed except ber (nearly 90%). By comparison, less than 50% of consumers perceive enriched rened grains as healthful.
  • According to recent research by Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, consumption of white, normal, or whole wheat bread elicited similar glycemic levels at the end of the study. The study further suggests that neither of the breads was found to be better than others.

4) BROWN RICE HAS LOW NUTRITIONAL VALUE

  • The recent study published by Frontiers in Nutrition, states that out of 51 adults participants from Abuja, Nigeria, only about 8% had ever tried brown rice. Further, many participants believed that brown rice offered lower nutritional value than traditional rice.
  • Since brown rice is not stripped of its bran and germ, it contains a significantly higher concentration of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, making it an ideal choice for those looking to improve their overall nutrition.

5) RICE MUST BE AVOIDED FOR WEIGHT LOSS

  • According to recent research published by the Korean Journal of Family Medicine, some participants believed that dieting involved removing rice from daily diets. Additionally, they firmly believed that consuming rice was the main factor affecting their current weight.
  • International study suggests that a mere increase in rice consumption by 50 grams per day can reduce the obesity prevalence by 1% worldwide calculated to be about 7 million adults with reduced obesity.
  • Further, the study suggests that eating rice seems to prevent weight gain, possibly due to the presence of fiber, nutrients, and other plant compounds found in whole grains. Additionally, these compounds may increase the feeling of fullness and reduce overeating. Alternatively, reports also state that overeating rice may lead to the development of metabolic syndrome or diabetes.


RESEARCH STRATEGY

To find some common myths, misconceptions and beliefs about grains and flours, we reviewed numerous nutritional websites, health blogs, research publications, industry news sites, survey findings, and government studies that featured a list of "top", "biggest", or "most popular" myths related to flour and grains consumption. We compiled our findings by identifying studies highlighting the people's view on the subject matter of health, weight loss, allergies, nutritional benefits, and opinions. We included the scientific data to back our findings about common myths and misconceptions related to grains and flours.
Sources
Sources

From Part 01
Quotes
  • "Almost one-third of respondents (31%) say they nearly always choose whole grains. Five years ago, only 4% would have said this."
  • "We eat about 37% of our whole grains at breakfast, 27% at dinner, 22% at lunch, and just 14% as snacks. "
Quotes
  • "The survey involved 3,000 people from the United Kingdom, Australia, Spain, Brazil and the United States. At 4.5%, whole grains had the fewest naysayers of any of the 11 categories included in the survey. Only fruit, vegetables and yogurt had higher “good for digestive health” scores, at 83%, 78% and 69%, respectively."
Quotes
  • "According to the 2019 Food and Health Report from IFIC, more than 80% of consumers perceive whole grains as healthful, edging all other food groups and nutrients listed except fiber (nearly 90%). By comparison, less than 50% of consumers perceive enriched refined grains as healthful. The report notes that older consumers (50+) are more likely than younger consumers (18-49) to report trying to consume more fiber and whole grains. Regardless, fiber and whole grains topped the list of foods and nutrients that consumers would like to eat more of."
From Part 02
Quotes
  • ""Eating rice seems to protect against weight gain. It's possible that the fibre, nutrients, and plant compounds found in whole grains may increase feelings of fullness and prevent overeating. Rice is also low in fat and has a relatively low postprandial blood glucose level which suppresses insulin secretion. However, there are also reports that people who overeat rice are more likely to develop metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Therefore, an appropriate amount of rice intake may prevent obesity", says Professor Imai."
Quotes
  • "Eating rice seems to protect against weight gain. It's possible that the fibre, nutrients, and plant compounds found in whole grains may increase feelings of fullness and prevent overeating. Rice is also low in fat and has a relatively low postprandial blood glucose level which suppresses insulin secretion. However, there are also reports that people who overeat rice are more likely to develop metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Therefore, an appropriate amount of rice intake may prevent obesity", says Professor Imai"