The use of wheatgrass in supplements and food and drink products is a trend that doesn't appear to be easing.
Innova Market Insights data reveals global launches of food and drink products containing wheatgrass saw a double-digit increase in the 12 months to the end of February 2015, and tracked launches have more than doubled in the last two years.
Europe and North America had the highest launch numbers over the past year, with Europe accounting for 55 per cent of the total and North America over 33 per cent. The leading markets were the UK and the US.
There has also been a move away from supplement-type products into mainstream food and drink, which accounted for 40 per cent of launches featuring wheatgrass over the past year. Soft drink products, primarily juice drinks and smoothies, accounted for half of this total, with some activity also evident in snacks, ready meals and dairy beverages.
In terms of soft drink launches, there has been a range of activity from both specialist health companies and more mainstream operators. In the US Bolthouse Farms launched a wheatgrass drink in early 2014 with its Daily Greens juice featuring green vegetables such as kale, spinach, cucumbers and romaine lettuce, as well as wheatgrass.
While launch numbers for wheatgrass products were relatively low in Australia and New Zealand overall, there were some innovative applications in dairy beverages, led by The Collective Dairy’s Green Machine Yoghurt Smoothie with kiwi, feijoa and spirulina, as well as wheatgrass. It has now also been launched in the UK.
Supplements featuring wheatgrass have been launched in a range of formats for a wide range of applications, including children’s and men’s supplements, meal replacements and sports and performance lines. Trends in product activity in this sector of the market may also indicate the next developments in this area, with some interest in supplements featuring combinations with other grasses, perhaps most notably barley and oat grasses, and other green ingredients such as chlorella, spirulina, alfalfa and hemp, and more standard green vegetable extracts.