Whole grains consumption on the rise, reports Oldways Whole Grains Council

Oldways Whole Grains Council conducted an online survey​ of 1,505 US adults (ages 18-88) in May 2021 to determine the level of whole grain consumption among US consumers and to further understand which eating occasions prompted more whole grain usage. 

Between half and two-thirds (59%) of Americans are meeting the current USDA Dietary Guidelines for whole grains consumption (which recommends that Americans make half or more of their grains, whole), according to the Whole Grains Council.

Over one-quarter of respondents to the survey said they nearly always choose whole grains whenever possible. These figures are even higher among younger generations: 64% of Gen Z and Millennial consumers report making half of their grains whole. Additionally, 67% of parents of young children (age 0–12), and 74% of health-conscious consumers choose whole grains at least half the time.

According to the survey, 95% of consumers report that their current whole grain consumption has either increased or held steady compared to five years ago.

“Interestingly, while we often assume that low-carb dieters have lower whole grain consumption, those who say they avoid carbs are more likely to also tell us they look for whole grains when shopping. Those who say they avoid carbs are also more likely to say they nearly always choose whole grain options and more likely to tell us their whole grain intake has increased in the last five years,”​ noted the Whole Grains Council in its report.

This shift in consumer mindset may indicate that consumers recognize that not all grains are created equal and are increasingly able to differentiate the quality of different carbohydrate sources, the report stated. 

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