Against the Grain: Grain-Free Lifestyles Spark Snack Innovations

cauliflower, cassava and chick peas

Posted: May 8,2019

Grains have long been a nutritional staple and continue to be an important part of many people’s diets. But as more consumers are looking for ways to lead healthier lifestyles, some are opting to go “grain-free.”

While the popularity of grain-free eating is fueled in part by diets like Paleo and Keto, consumers report a host of other reasons for eliminating grains from their diets. Many consumers looking for ways to reduce inflammation, ease digestion, and help with autoimmune conditions turn to grain-free lifestyles. Others find that eliminating grain from their diets results in more energy, clearer cognition, and an overall better mood.

With more and more consumers adopting this lifestyle, the demand for grain-free snack options is on the rise. Food manufacturers turn to grain alternatives like cassava, almond, coconut, and chickpea flours to formulate snack options. According to Mintel, there was a 134% increase in the launch of bakery products with non-grain flours over a five year period beginning in 2010. The same Mintel report suggests that “grain-free is starting to emerge as the next generation of (and healthier alternative to) gluten-free.”

According to Kim Holman, Marketing Director for TH Foods, “We’re seeing an increased demand for plant-based snack products that complement a grain-free lifestyle.”

This trend has led our talented R&D team to develop new grain-free, plant-based product concepts. We can custom formulate tasty snacks that are paleo-friendly and meet a number of desired claims.

“Grain alternative ingredients like Cauliflower and Cassava are on the rise. They allow us to develop a low-calorie, grain-free snack that still pack a punch with great flavor and crunch,” said Hipolito Sanchez, R&D manager for TH Foods.


Cauliflower and Cassava on the rise.

Cassava flour, which is derived from the root plant yucca, boasts a number of desirable claims including gluten-free, grain-free and nut-free. Cassava is also mild in flavor and a good binding agent, making it ideal for baking applications, unlike some other non-grain flour alternatives.

Like cassava, cauliflower lends itself to a number of applications where grains are traditional. Cauliflower pizza crust, rice, and gnocchi are just a few examples of the vegetable’s versatility in replacing grains. It can also be used as a base in crackers and other snacks.

TH Foods has developed a number of grain-free snacks using cassava and cauliflower as a base, including three new flavors of grain-free Crunchmaster® crackers.

Contact TH Foods to get started on your next snack innovation.

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