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Report: Whole Grains Are the Next Big Thing -- Again

NEW YORK -- The U.S. food industry is poised for fundamental change in the way grain-based products are manufactured and marketed, according to the "The U.S. Market for Whole Grain and High Fiber Foods," a new report from research publisher Packaged Facts.

Much of the drive behind this change stems from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Agriculture's new Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which stress the importance of increasing intake of whole grain foods and dietary fiber, and reducing intake of refined grains -- a leading culprit behind obesity, diabetes, and other health conditions.

Overall the U.S. market for whole grain and high-fiber foods remained relatively stable between 2000 and 2004, growing from $4.75 billion to $4.79 billion. However, this apparent stability is the result of several volatile categories canceling each other out and powerful trends such as the consumer obsession with low carb and concurrent aversion to "good-carbs," or grain-based foods. The result has been a sequence of product introductions and discontinuations, limiting growth and belying an impending dramatic growth phase in the market.

"U.S. retail sales of whole grain and high-fiber foods will spike in 2005 and decline gradually in subsequent years," said Don Montuori, acquisitions editor for Packaged Facts. "The early growth will stem from health innovations in foods consumers already eat -- such as recent changes in cereals -- as opposed to consumers' choosing to eat different kinds of foods."

"The U.S. Market for Whole Grain and High Fiber Foods" focuses primarily on packaged foods that contain a significant amount of fiber derived from whole grains. It also analyzes trends in the sale and marketing of high-fiber beverages, and surveys other trends in naturally high-fiber foods and high-fiber or fiber-fortified packaged foods. Most of these products are positioned on health claims approved by the FDA or other medical associations, and are targeted toward adults.
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