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Sorghum’s use in food products is seeing growth like never before. Beyond the robust nutrition package it provides, sorghum checks many of the boxes of what consumers are looking for in their food.
Sorghum is a natural source of antioxidants, which may help to lower your risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and some neurological diseases. Additionally, antioxidants naturally extend the shelf life of food products, which is why many manufacturers are turning to sorghum rather than artificial preservatives. With more than 10 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber per half-cup serving, sorghum is an excellent source of fiber-rich, plant-based protein.
Sorghum is categorized as an ancient grain, which means that the grain has remained mostly unchanged since its cultivation. Consumers are drawn to the ancient grain category when it comes to everything from side dishes to breading on chicken nuggets.
As the United States becomes more and more of a melting pot for various cultures and cuisines, sorghum will play an even more prominent role in the food world. Sorghum is a staple in African, Indian, Japanese and Chinese cuisines, and as the palates of our country expand, having culturally-inclusive foods, like sorghum, as a widely available option will become more important.
While it is clear how much sorghum offers to the food landscape of this country, it is still a fairly unknown ingredient. However, there is good news. The Sorghum Checkoff commissioned consumer research in late 2021 and it showed that once consumers who had never tried sorghum were exposed to it, nearly 80 percent continued to seek it out and use it in their homes. This is a remarkable retention rate for an ingredient that relatively few consumers know about.
Hungry yet? During your next trip to the grocery store, keep your eyes peeled for these champions in the sorghum food category, and we’ll keep giving you new product updates.
Gerber® is synonymous with foods that meet the nutrition needs for every stage of growing children’s lives and two of their snack products highlight sorghum as an ingredient. Within the Crawler (10+ months) line, Gerber® Lil’ Crunchies® and Gerber® Wonderfoods® both contain whole grain sorghum.
Gerber® Lil’ Crunchies® comes in a variety of flavors including Mild Cheddar, Veggie Dip, Garden Tomato, Apple Sweet Potato, Ranch and Vanilla Maple. Gerber® Wonderfoods® come in Strawberry Banana Broccoli and Orange Carrot.
Dave’s Killer Bread® 21 Whole Grains and Seeds sandwich bread is packed with nutrition and taste, and features sorghum as part of their 21 whole grains. Due to the carbohydrate and protein cross linkages in the sorghum grain, baked goods made with sorghum flour have the added benefit of staying moister longer than those made with wheat flour alone.
Trader Joe’s™ is a sought after grocery chain for health conscious consumers, particularly Millennials and Gen Z due to its offerings for a variety of dietary limitations, such as gluten-free, vegan and organic. Among its gluten-free offerings, Trader Joe’s™ uses sorghum in its Gluten Free All Purpose Flour, Gluten Free Buttermilk Pancake & Waffle Mix, and Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread & Muffin Baking Mix.
Kroger® is the parent company for a variety of national and regional grocery chains including Harris Teeter®, Food4Less®, Ralphs®, FredMeyer® and more. All of the stores offer Simple Truth™ branded items, which include natural and organic foods free from artificial preservatives that are non-GMO. Included in their product line up is Simple Truth Organic™ Black Pepper 100% Whole Grain Brown Rice with Ancient Grains, featuring sorghum among the Ancient Grains. This pre-cooked pouch can be heated in a microwave and ready in 90 seconds, as opposed to a 45-minute cook time for sorghum on the stovetop.
It is an exciting time for the industry as grocery aisles across the country feature more sorghum-based products. The Sorghum Checkoff is continually working with food companies to further innovation, with the goal to make sorghum a mainstream staple in products and homes.