Whole grains are hot right now — but they should be hotter. According to recent studies, many Americans either aren't consuming the recommended three daily servings of whole grains, or they're skipping out altogether. One piece of research, a meta-study conducted last year by Wake Forest University, reported that 40% of adults say they eat no whole grains at all. Another, published in November by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service, noted that 93% of Americans fail to meet the daily recommended amount, as outlined in the updated Dietary Guidelines.
“Many consumers and health professionals are unaware of the health benefits of whole grains,” said Dr. Philip Mellen, lead researcher on the Wake Forest study.
So what can retailers do? Get the word out, sources say. Sheila McCusker, Times and Trends editor with Information Resources Inc., recommends signs touting whole grain health benefits, as well as developing targeted marketing to specific segments, like parents or Baby Boomers. A one-stop resource can be found in the Whole Grains Council, which provides books, posters and other promotional and educational materials.