The bizarre pandemic development that is sticking: individuals are switching to different flours


Tom O’Brien has been within the meals commodity business for 13 years, He’s seen loads of tendencies come and go — however one which doesn’t seem like fading any time quickly is individuals flocking to different varieties of flours.

“Our telephone has been ringing off the hook from individuals within the Caribbean attempting to get gluten-free flour,” O’Brien, the president and co-founder of Global Resources Direct, a Chicago-based meals commodity exporter, importer, provider and buying and selling firm.

In the beginning of the pandemic, it made sense that folks have been turning to non-traditional types of flour comparable to buckwheat, almond, oat and even banana when the baking craze took off, creating shortages of conventional wheat flour, he stated. 

O’Brien assumed that ultimately the provision chains would catch as much as meet the extraordinary demand for conventional wheat flour and other people would return to cooking and baking with it. However that’s hardly been the case.

To this point this yr, gross sales of almond flour and oat flour are up 110% and 103% respectively in comparison with the primary 10 months of final yr, based on information O’Brien shared with MarketWatch. Natural coconut flour and inexperienced banana flour have additionally seen an increase in demand and are up 78% and 69% up to now this yr in comparison with final. 

Information Nielsen

offered to MarketWatch confirms the same development.

In June this yr greenback gross sales of candy potato flour have been greater than 100% increased than the identical month final yr, the best they have been through the pandemic. 

In contrast, oat flour skilled the best demand in April when greenback gross sales have been 184% increased than March of 2019.  By September, fewer Individuals bought oat flour however in comparison with September of 2019, greenback gross sales have been 72% increased, based on Nielsen information.

Matt Cox, vice chairman of promoting at Bob’s Purple Mill, a flour firm that makes a number of varieties of different flours stated that “orders on our web site have greater than doubled over the previous few months.”

Cox added that it has been “busier than the winter vacation season, which is normally after we see probably the most quantity when it comes to orders and web site visitors.”

Gluten-free and keto diets might also be driving shoppers to buy different flours

Whereas many Individuals have put their weight-reduction plan on the again burner through the pandemic, those that have caught with diets are predominantly on keto and gluten-free diets, based on an August report by the NPD Group, a market analysis agency primarily based in Port Washington, New York. 

“Diet packages, like keto and gluten-free, supply a transparent highway map that present shoppers a way of management,” stated Darren Seifer, NPD’s meals and beverage business analyst. The keto weight-reduction plan, quick for ketogenic, is a well-liked weight reduction technique that requires a restricted consumption of carbohydrates and a excessive protein consumption.

“Alternatively, indulgent consolation meals present an escape from elevated stress ranges and supply a easy splurge that’s common throughout difficult instances,” the NPD report famous. “Each paths are coping mechanisms to managing stress and disruption.”

‘Flour will be constituted of something and in loads of different cuisines flour shouldn’t be wheat flour. It comes from issues like cassava, coconut, potato and corn’

— Epicurious web site director, David Tamarkin

“Once you’re enthusiastic about consuming gluten-free or happening a keto weight-reduction plan, that actually forces individuals to rethink what flour is,” stated Epicurious web site director, David Tamarkin.

“In North America for a very long time when individuals considered flour, they simply thought flour with wheat flour. However flour will be constituted of something and in loads of different cuisines flour shouldn’t be wheat flour. It comes from issues like cassava, coconut, potato and corn.”

Each Tamarkin and Hannah Sunderani, who runs a plant-based meals weblog named Two Spoons, have observed that recipes posted on their respective web sites that are both gluten-free or keto diet-friendly have seen an uptick in visitors through the pandemic. 

Earlier this yr, when Sunderani posted a photograph on Instagram of a brand new shortbread cookie recipe utilizing almond flour, she stated solely 625 individuals saved it to their Instagram accounts. Usually individuals save pictures she posts by way of the app to allow them to later refer again to them and search for the recipe on her weblog.

In April, a vegan chocolate chip cookie that additionally known as for almond flour in addition to oat flour was saved by greater than 2,800 individuals.

The completed results of Hannah Sunderani’s vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe.

“Lots of people are requesting different varieties of flours [in recipes], particularly issues like almond flour or any kind of substitute that’s gluten-free,” she stated. “There has positively been an increase in the sort of consuming.”

Total, net visitors on her web site was 65% increased in April than it was in February.

Recommendation for cooking/baking with different flours for the primary time

Don’t strive a number of varieties of different flours directly, Sunderani instructed MarketWatch. 

Not solely can these flours be pricey, however specializing in one flour at a time will assist you to distinguish between the style and texture of varied different flours, she stated.

One cheap technique to begin experimenting with oat flour is by making it your self. All it actually takes, Sunderani stated, is a bag of oats. You’ll be able to “throw them in a meals processor or high-speed blender for a few minutes.”

“I might all the time advocate that folks search out basic recipes or conventional dishes that use different flours when beginning off,” Tamarkin stated. “It could be a catastrophe if you happen to tried to make sourdough bread with almond flour.

Two of his private favourite recipes on Epicurious’ web site that decision for different flours are a cromlet (a chickpea flour-based omelet) and a mochi cake, which makes use of rice flour. 

“After you have familiarity with the flour you can begin incorporating it into recipes that don’t essentially name for it in little quantities.”

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