“Ancient cereals have experienced remarkable growth in recent years due to consumer appreciation for tradition and authenticity,” says Joep Van Cleemput, CSM’s category marketing leader for bread ingredients. “Availability of these crops, which are often difficult to produce, is becoming more important to customers who are keen to capitalise on the growing speciality bread trend.”
“Six years ago, seeds were scarce but CSM’s pioneering relationships with growers of Einkorn, Emmer and Wild Rye led to the first significant harvest in 2007. Our foresight paid off. Since then, harvest volumes have more than tripled. We have seen clear commercial benefits of this strategy with double digit increase in sales of our range of ancient grains, which are now available in 10 European countries.”
In a generally flat European bread market estimated at 27.1Mt in size, marketing firm Gira predicts that consumption of speciality breads will grow in key regions such as France (by 5.6%), Italy (by 8.1%) and Belgium (by 8.1%) by 2015.
“Growth in speciality bread has been driven by an increased attraction to products made with wholegrain flour, seeds and kernels, as these provide higher level of nutrients and taste,” adds Cleemput.
“The noble ancient grains fit into this trend; ancient cereal crop production has been much less focused on yield and therefore taste and quality have remained of paramount importance.”