Earlier this week, I blogged on reports of food marketers who are trying to increase demand from kids for healthier foods, mainly produce. Food marketers are also having success selling other healthy products to consumers. Recently published reports indicate that consumers are increasing their purchases of whole grain products, especially pasta and bread.

A Supermarket Guru report cited Nielsen data that shows consumers cut back on their purchases of branded dry pasta. At the same time, sales of whole grain pastas have jumped. Consider these sales increases over the past few years in this category:

  • 2007 46%
  • 2008 31.6%
  • 2009 17.5%
  • 2010 11.4%

Consumers seem to be selecting healthier options in the bread aisle as well. Total dollar sales for fresh bread reached $6.490 billion this year. This level is a 2.8% drop from last year but the news is good for wheat bread. The details show that the fresh white bread category achieved $1.9 billion in sales, a 6.6% drop from 2009. But fresh wheat bread is now valued at $1.99 billion in sales, a 0.8% increase from last year. On a dollar volume level, it appears that wheat and white bread have a similar market size. However, on a unit volume basis, while white bread has the larger market, it is also shrinking. These numbers suggest that wheat bread, while more expensive, is appealing to a larger segment of the consumer base.

Food marketers are clearly making progress in promoting their products based on features such as healthy ingredients instead of just price.

[Source: Pasat’s Split Identity: Whole Grains Healthier. Supermarketguru.com. 6 Aug. 2010. Web. 18 Aug. 2010;  Wheat bread sales surpass white for first time. July 2010. Web. 16 Aug. 2010]