Getting acquainted with our daily bread
GroundCover™ Issue: 26
Eat more Australian grain and pulse products: that's the message of 'Go Grains', an innovative new research and marketing campaign and a first for the grains industry.
Initiated jointly by BRI Australia and growers through the GRDC, 'Go Grains' is pulling together all aspects of grains nutritional research. This is the first time grains products will be promoted on a coordinated, industry-wide basis.
The 'Go Grains' campaign started by asking consumers what they thought about grains and pulses. The answers indicate there's still a lot of work to be done. Many people still think of grains as the raw seed, rather than as products made from grains.
According to Trish Griffiths, Nutrition Services Manager at BRI Australia, "consumers have no clear idea of what grains or pulses actually are. In a recent survey, only half of them thought of wheat when we asked them for different types of grains. As for other products, like breakfast cereals, rice and bread and oats, even fewer of those surveyed would have called them grains".
On the positive side, it seems a lot of consumers know how healthy bread and pasta are, and a quarter of them claimed to be eating more than they were a year ago — mainly because of ease of consumption, taste, health and dietary reasons. Products like this are seen to be important to a healthy diet, although fattening if too much is eaten.
Pulses stuck with vegetarian label
The same survey showed that pulses are also seen to be healthy, but not very tasty, and that they are the food of vegetarians.
"If we want to increase pulse consumption, we will have to show people why everyone should include pulses in their diets. We will also have to show people how to cook pulses so they actually taste good," says Ms Griffiths.
"Our marketing strategies will have to focus on the specific health benefits of products, like pasta and bread, rather than promoting the benefits of grains or pulses in general."
Educating -the educators
The new industry-wide grains promotion will begin by providing the vital nutritional, health and food-preparation information to health and food professionals like nutritionists, food writers, food-industry workers and teachers.
"Overseas campaigns have shown this is one of the most effective ways of getting the information out to the community. We expect to see more Australians eating more grains and pulses as a result of 'Go Grains'."
Program 4.1.3 Contact: Ms Trish Griffiths 02 9888 9600