When we review the grain consumption in recent years, we see that there is a tendency to organic, gluten-free, GMO-free grains. The trend towards the consumption of high-value food products at all levels of income is increasing globally. The internet, the increase in the level of education and out-of-home consumption, the transition to more settled jobs and income levels are changing food and grain choices both positively and negatively.
The factors such as income level, taste, cost, accessibility, convenience and nutritional value have a strong influence on consumers’ grain preferences. Consumer attitudes are constantly changing depending on these factors. With digitalization, social media and new research, this change is happening much faster nowadays. Consumer trends are vitally important for producers as they determine the market.
When we look at grain consumption in recent years, it seems that there is a tendency to organic, gluten-free, GMO-free and organic grains. The value of the global gluten-free grain market was $1.7 billion in 2011. This figure rose to 3.5 billion dollars in 2016. And experts predict that it will reach $4.7 billion within the next 1.5 years.
Regional differences in grain consumption are also noteworthy. For example, rice consumption in Africa is increasing. Between 2000 and 2014, rice production in West Africa rose from 7.1 million tons to 16.8 million tons. In Asia, where rice is historically popular, wheat now finds more space on the table. There is an opposite trend in the U.S. In 1997, the consumption of flour per capita was 67 kg. in the United States and this figure fell to 60 kilograms by 2015. In the U.S., there is now a demand for ancient grains’ such as quinoa, einkorn, Kamut and brown rice. The production of quinoa, which was 58 thousand tons in 2008, increased to 193 thousand tons in 2014 depending on the increasing demand. Here we examine the consumption preferences in grain-based foods and the factors that affect consumption trends.