Ancient grains generally do not require much fertilizers, pesticides, and irrigation, and can thrive with lower levels of it. Consequently, it is appealing to consumers preferring organic products, which is fueling up the ancient grains market. Ancient grains such as bulgur, pseudocereals, Khorasan wheat, and freekeh have never been processed through genetic modifications or hybridizations as they were grown centuries ago. These grains offer higher nutritional values as compared to modern grains such as corn, rice, and wheat. With the rise in the demand for gluten-free food products, kale and quinoa are experiencing higher demand from the health-conscious consumers. The ancient grains have the ability to add better flavor and textural appeal to the products. Hence, in the global marketplace, this factor is surging the ancient grains market demand, particularly among the millennial that prefers gluten-free products. Millennials are inclining towards healthy food alternatives, due to which, F&B market players are incorporating ancient grains into edibles such as pizza crust, bars, shakes, and yogurts. In 2019, The Good Mills Gmbh, Germany’s largest flour mills group, introduced an innovative product RutinX. It is made up of Tartary buckwheat and two ancient whole-grain flours: snow wheat and snow spelt ingredients. This product is rich in protein and is also preferred as a low-carb snack in sports nutrition segment. Such innovations have influenced new entrants to introduce similar products which have been propelling the ancient grains market growth.

Similarly, the other companies in the food and beverage industry are introducing products that are made from ancient grains. As of 2019, the global ancient grains market size is evaluated to be $604 million. Since ancient grains are high in demand for the production and consumption by the manufacturers and consumers in the F&B sector, the market is growing at a highly notable CAGR of 35% during the forecast period 2019-2025.

Quinoa Segment Robustly Growing in Ancient Grains Market at a CAGR of 33%  

During the forecast period, the quinoa segment of the ancient grains market is experiencing a lucrative growth. Quinoa is recognized for its adaptability to different agro-environmental conditions, genetic diversity, and socio-economic and cultural benefits it has on the local environment. In the agriculture sector, quinoa is an innovation. If quinoa is effectively adopted, it can provide additional crop diversification, nutrition, and added value as an export crop for smallholder farmers. Peru and Bolivia are the world’s largest producers of quinoa, which together accounts for 80% of the global trade. The growing trade of quinoa is positively impacting the growth of the ancient grains market. Furthermore, with the increasing consumer awareness regarding the benefits of consumption of food products that contain low additives, natural, and non-GMO products is the key influencer of increasing demand for organic quinoa. The United States and Europe are witnessing a significant rise in the consumption of organic quinoa for a few years. In 2016, Advantage Capital Agribusiness Partners (ACAP) invested $3.7 million in NatureMe for organic quinoa-based baby food and toddler snacks. The company is investing in improving its quinoa product portfolio. ACAP is focusing on nutrition in the baby foods market which has been significantly flourishing. With the growing demand for quinoa, the ancient grains market is estimated to fuel up during the forecast period.

Americas Subjugated the Global Ancient Grain Market in 2018

As of 2018, the ancient grains market in the Americas had a regional revenue share of 45%. This is attributed to the rising demand in the South American countries such as Brazil, and Argentina. The bakery & confectionery products offered maximum opportunities to the vendors in the Americas ancient grains market. This is because of the demand influx in the bakery and confectionary segment of the U.S., Mexico, Canada, and Brazil. Grains such as millet and sorghum originated in South America and teff in Ethiopia is anticipated to have a good future in North America. Quinoa and amaranth shipments increased by 18.5% and 19.4% respectively. Faro and spelt eventually experienced a double-digit increase in growth in the same year. Additionally, with the growing trend of gluten-free foods, Americans have proactively started to increase the usage of ancient grains. Similar to flexitarianism and veganism, avoiding gluten is now the true lifestyle choice for the Americans. Ancient grains in the region is gaining popularity as the marketers and the manufacturers are aligning their product development with other emerging trends such as clean label and transparency in the market.

Chronic Diseases and Obesity Leading to Opportunities in Ancient Grains Market

·     In 2016, 1.6 million deaths were directly due to diabetes. The number of diabetes cases is reported more in low and middle-income countries. With the consumption of ancient grains such as millet and sorghum, the chances of diabetes and other chronic diseases such as asthma and arthritis are reduced. The increased intake of millet and sorghum in order to prevent these diseases is boosting the growth of the ancient grains market growth.

·       Obesity is a major concern in developed and developing economies. More than 1.9 billion adults were overweight out of which approximately 650 million were obese. Some of the ancient grains are proved to be healthy and reduces the possibilities of obesity through weight loss. The consumption of these grains has increased due to concerns regarding weight, which is further surging the growth of the ancient grains market revenues.

Major Companies in Ancient Grains Market

Some of the key dominating companies in the ancient grains market are Yamazaki Baking Co. Ltd., KP Snacks, Premier Foods plc, Intersnack, The Archer Daniels Midland Company, Grupo Bimbo S.A.B. de C.V., Calbee Inc., Glanbia plc, Cargill Inc., and General Mills Inc.  These pioneering companies are utilizing extensive resources on developmental and innovational activities to deliver essential products and solutions to global customers, deliberately strengthening their brand image and setting new trends for the global market.

· ADM Unveiled its First Ancient Grains Concentrate

In 2017, The Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), an American global food processing and commodities trading corporation, had launched its first concentrate containing ancient grains. Along with ancient grains- chia seeds, millet, quinoa, and amaranth, it also comprised of different seeds- golden and brown linseeds, pumpkin, sunflower, and poppy seeds. According to ADM, this new mix could be used with various flour varieties that can help in producing seeded bread and bakers to diversify their product portfolio that successfully fulfill the demand for healthier products.

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