Strategic advice for the food and beverage industry

The health combination with every natural advantage – including gluten-free

Oats_Dairy_Consumer_Handout_FINALIt will come as no surprise to Scots and Scandinavians.

Oats plus dairy is a powerful combination for good health and positive nutrition. It connects to people’s interest in “good grains”, in all-natural and simple health benefits – and even to gluten-free.

As we have said at New Nutrition Business before, a product that combines oats with dairy in a single pot is the product opportunity that is going to be more and more important for industry and more and more interesting to people.

Chobani, the creator of America’s giant Greek yoghurt market, agrees. This summer it launched a single-serve pot combining yoghurt with oats.

In Europe there are several start-ups that market yoghurt plus oat combinations. In Switzerland oats plus dairy – called Bircher muesli – is one of the most traditional and well-known of breakfast foods.

In Australia, the third-biggest breakfast brand – a liquid breakfast called Up & Go – has launched an oat version.

And – out of sight of consumer researchers – people are mixing oats with dairy at home.

Oats have long been the “Cinderella grain” – neglected, yet good tasting, adaptable, inexpensive and packed with health benefits that are proven (slow blood sugar release, heart healthy, fibre for digestive health) rather than – as is the case for many trendy “ancient grains” – merely claimed.

And now oats are showing that they have gluten-free credentials. Most varieties of oat contain no gluten and the big percentage of people who are eating gluten-free 2-3 times a week are turning to oats.

Sales of certified gluten-free oats are skyrocketing – with one supplier seeing business go from almost zero to 2,000 tonnes a month over the last 2 years.

The US Dairy Council’s nice-looking poster, see above, is a great way to start to spread the message that more people should be making the easy, healthy, low-cost choice of oats with dairy.

Posted in Editorial, Mainsite

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