Food Vision 2016

Oats market is ripe for disruption, claimed Grainful’s president

By Douglas Yu contact

- Last updated on GMT

Grainful said the most common misconceptions are that oats grow as flakes and are just a breakfast food.  Photo: Grainful
Grainful said the most common misconceptions are that oats grow as flakes and are just a breakfast food. Photo: Grainful

Related tags: Oats, Oat, Rolled oats, Cereal

Oats-based foods company, Grainful, has announced it is entering the initial growth stages after a period of market testing, scale up and market validation. Its products will be available in over 1,600 locations across the US by the end of this year.

Grainful started with an idea of extending oats beyond breakfast to lunch, dinner and ultimately all eating occasions throughout the day, said the company’s president, Jan Pajerski.

“One night Jeannine (Pajerski’s partner) used steel-cut oats [pinhead oats] in place of rice to make Jambalaya at home for a dinner party. The dish was very well received. As I was eating, I looked at her and we had a collective "aha" moment. Oats are a grain, they cook like rice, so why not treat them like rice and make them for dinner?”​ he said.

In addition, oats are in line with market trends, such as gluten-free, non-GMO, 100% whole grain and addresses specific consumer nutritional needs (high fiber, plant-based protein, heart-healthy, low-glycemic index, etc.) in a way that differentiates it from all competition in the lunch and dinner categories, Pajerski added.

No fields of oat flakes in the prairies

Pajerski told BakeryandSnacks that the most common misconceptions - that oats grow as flakes and are just a breakfast food - are caused by “the amazing brand Quaker has built over the past over 100 years.

“In actuality, there are no fields of oat flakes in the prairies, but oats are grains, similar looking to rice when harvested, except it's a golden brown color,”​ he said. “Once you stop associating oats with flakes, it's much easier to see them as a great savory lunch and dinner option, which is very similar to risotto in mouthfeel and consistency.”

Currently, over 70% of oats worldwide is used as animal feed, Pajerski said, and the oats market is ripe for disruption.

“By extending oats beyond breakfast, into rice, pasta, quinoa and potato segments, the oat market for human consumption can grow by multiples,”​ he said.

Maintain 400% growth rate through 2018

Since the business launch in 2014, Grainful has secured distribution at key retailers throughout the US and has also developed new SKUs in its existing product lines. These will be hitting shelves in the next quarter, according to the company.

“We have some product concepts in the final stages of market validation, but the timing of those launches is yet to be determined,”​ Pajerski added.

Grainful’s revenues increase by 400% year-over-year and it is hoping to maintain this growth rate through 2018.

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