Ancient Harvest CEO: ‘Entry into the hot cereal category was an obvious choice’

By Kacey Culliney contact

- Last updated on GMT

The ancient grain cereals are made with a blend of quinoa, millet, amaranth and gluten-free rolled oats
The ancient grain cereals are made with a blend of quinoa, millet, amaranth and gluten-free rolled oats

Related tags: Breakfast cereal, Nutrition, Oat

Ancient Harvest’s hot cereal range plays to a consumer focus on protein, gluten-free and nutrition at breakfast, says the firm's CEO.

The ancient grains specialist has developed a line of hot cereals made from a blend of quinoa, millet, amaranth and gluten-free produced rolled oats. The line will be launched across the US over the coming months and features five flavor varieties – traditional, apple cinnamon, banana and brown sugar, maple morning and honey vanilla spice.

Ancient Harvest CEO Blake Waltrip said the line met market needs.

“The entry into the hot cereal category was an obvious choice for Ancient Harvest. Health-orientated consumers, and specifically Ancient Harvest consumers, desire healthful, convenient breakfast options that don’t make them choose between flavor and nutrition,”​ he told BakeryandSnacks.com.

“Recent data backs up the decline of traditional cold cereal toward breakfast options that are satisfying but also nutritious; packed with protein, gluten-free and low in negatives like sugar and salt,”​ he said.

Hot cereals up in the US 

Ancient Harvest CEO Blake Waltrip: “Any product in the breakfast category that doesn’t deliver on dietary factors health-orientated consumers are looking for - namely protein, nutrition and gluten-free – is going to struggle.”

The hot cereal category in the US was growing in value terms – up 3% for the year ending July 2013 and up 3.5% for the first half of 2014, according to Nielsen data. By contrast, ready-to-eat cold cereals in the market were down 1.5% in CAGR.

Waltrip said it was likely the demand for healthy alternatives at breakfast would continue to grow and that the new hot cereals would cater to these demands.

“Any product in the breakfast category that doesn’t deliver on dietary factors health-orientated consumers are looking for - namely protein, nutrition and gluten-free – is going to struggle,”​ he said.

Still convenient

Constance Roark, RDN and director of marketing at Ancient Harvest, said the hot cereal line remained convenient yet nutritious for consumers – another important factor for breakfast.

“Today’s consumers are constantly on the go, so finding the time to make a hot meal in the morning can be a challenge,”​ she said. However, the wholegrain content of the hot cereals provided a good source of fiber and each serving contained 5-7 grams of protein, she said.

“We believe a quick breakfast doesn’t have to mean skimping on nutrition,”​ she said.

The cereals could be made by adding water and heating in a microwave or cooking on a stove.

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