DakotaMB (Milling and Blending) Custom milling, blending and toasting for the baking and food industries

Whole Grain and Whole Wheat Top Trends

Organic Homemade Whole Wheat Bread

Did you know that DakotaMB’s long history of baking includes a significant chapter on Roman Meal, one of the first multi-grain breads in the United States. Whole grains are in our DNA, which is great for business as consumers are finally starting to understand the importance of these nutritious ingredients. Here’s a brief refresher on whole grains, why they are beneficial and what’s trending with this popular ingredient. 

What are whole grains?

Whole grains include the entirety of the grain seed, called the kernel, which is composed of bran, germ and endosperm. In order for something to be considered whole grain, the kernel must retain the same relative proportions of bran, germ and endosperm. In refined grains, most of the bran and germ are removed, which results in a loss of dietary fiber, minerals and nutrients.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), a good way to tell if a product is 100% whole grain is to make sure that it is listed first or second in the ingredient list. These unprocessed whole grains are typically amaranth, barley, brown rice, buckwheat, bulgur, millet, quinoa, rye, oats, sorghum, spelt, teff and triticale — many of which DakotaMB carries among its staple of value-added grains.

What are the benefits of whole grains?

The Whole Grains Council (WGC) says that whole grain consumption has more than doubled over the last 20 years, with 61% of consumers recognizing that whole grains are good for digestive health. Baking Business reported that one in five respondents to the 2023 International Food Information Council (IFIC) Food and Health Survey thought that food labeled as a source of whole grains was indicative of healthfulness. The IFIC survey also found that 42% of people consume whole grains to lose weight, 35% to improve digestive/gut health, 34% to improve immune function, and 33% to increase energy and reduce fatigue.

What whole grain products are trending?

The WGC’s Whole Grain Stamp is found on more than 13,000 products in 65 countries, with one-third of stamped products found outside of the U.S. The top three product categories with the Whole Grain Stamp are bread, rolls and bagels; cold cereal; and snacks like chips, pretzels and crackers. Many baby food products, dried soups and ramen noodles contain whole grains, and the Whole Grain Stamp is especially effective when shopping for alternative milks, particularly the ones that contain whole grain oats.

According to Supermarket Perimeter, popular whole grain breads include sprouted whole wheat loaves, brioche and other customizable, plant-based options.

The future of whole grains

According to the WGC, the market for whole grains is expected to grow. The Whole Grain Stamp is doing its job of encouraging more people to buy products with whole grains; in fact, two-thirds of consumers say the Stamp gives them more confidence in the products they buy and 85% say that they trust the Stamp and are skeptical of products without it. The WGC also reports that Millennials and Gen Z actively seek out products with whole grains, not only because they view them as healthful, but because manufacturing products with whole grains is sustainable and has a small negative impact on the environment.

DakotaMB has more than 50 years of experience in specialty milling, custom blending and toasting a variety of grains, including whole grains. Our products include value-added grains, bases, coatings, functional mixes, granola, multi-grain blends, pulses and toppings—all of which can be customized to your exact specifications. Learn more about DakotaMB’s whole grain products and milling and blending services.

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