According to a report, Whole Grain and High Fiber Foods, issued by Global Industry Analysts (GIA), whole grain food sales are projected to continue their upward trend, rising to $26.7 billion by 2017. The United States is the largest regional market for whole grain foods, while Asia Pacific is predicted to be the fastest-growing region. There were 20 times more whole grain product launches in 2010 than 2000, according to the Mintel Global New Products Database, predominantly in the bakery and breakfast cereal categories.
"Whole grains emerged as the focus area for food manufacturing companies, with food and beverage companies having adopted whole grains as a major strategy for revitalizing their products and brands," GIA said. "By providing whole grain products that provide long-term health benefits, food companies are allowing consumers to make a transition towards a [healthier] diet."
Whole grain brown rice sales have benefited significantly from this trend, with Nielsen Scantrack data showing brown rice dollar sales increasing 98 percent between 2006 and 2011 and pound sales up 58 percent in the United States.
Recommendations to increase whole grains are part of the2010 Dietary Guidelines, which call for six servings of grains daily, with half of those servings coming from whole grains. In 2008, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, responding to a request from USA Rice Federation, extended the whole grain health claim to brown rice, stating that diets rich in plant foods and whole grains like whole grain brown rice, and low in total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol, may help reduce the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer.
USA Rice aggressively promotes the nutritional benefits of rice to consumers through multiple messaging platforms.