KANSAS CITY – From baby food to breakfast bars, quinoa is sprouting across the supermarket in a number of new products from mainstream brands.
Quinoa was involved in 462 launches between Jan. 1, 2010, to Sept. 30, 2012, according to Datamonitor – and the super seed keeps growing.
This year’s launches featuring the ancient grain include Kellogg Co.’s Special K Nourish line of hot cereal and bars, gluten-free granola bars from Kind Healthy Snacks, a multi-grain medley from Minute Rice, and organic baby food pouches from Plum Organics, a Campbell Soup Co. division.
Indeed, quinoa is hot in the health and wellness sector, its high-protein, gluten-free profile luring customers and large corporations alike. The J.M. Smucker Co. recently announced its acquisition of Enray Inc., a Livermore, Calif.-based manufacturer and marketer of organic, gluten-free grain products, including cookies and pastas made with quinoa. The addition to Smucker’s portfolio provides “an on-trend, compelling product platform across the rapidly growing gluten-free market,” the company said.Restaurant chains, too, are incorporating the grain in a variety of menu items. Introductions this year include salad bowls from Starbucks Coffee Co. and First Watch and a nine-grain bagel from Einstein Bros. Bagels and Noah’s New York Bagels.