Flour power: the rise of substitute alternatives to traditional wheat flour

Flour power: the rise of substitute alternatives to traditional wheat flour

By
Louise Burfitt
September 7, 2021

🍞 What is it?

  • Were you one of the lucky ones who spent lockdown baking bread and investigating sourdough? If so, you’ve helped contribute to the growing popularity of so-called alternative flours. 
  • Encompassing options from tiger nut flour to upcycled beer bread, the alternative flour space is diverse and growing. Increased interest from consumers in ketogenic, paleo and gluten-free diets for healthier lifestyles has helped propel what was once a pretty niche product into the mainstream.

🤔 Tell me more…

  • Alternative flours generally refer to ground flour products that can be used as a substitute to wheat flour, whether in baking, pasta, bread-making or other wheat-based foods. 
  • Retailers have reported rising sales of alternative flour to back up anecdotal evidence, citing lockdown baking as a key driver of sales. Organic flour maker Doves Farm also announced that sales of organic flour - both conventional and alternative - have risen by 84.2% in the last year. So what’s driving the trend? 

📈 The figures

  • The alternative flours market is expected to grow at a CAGR or 5.6% between 2020 and 2026.
  • The segment is already worth $247.4m, and is expected to grow to $307.7m by 2026.

🤷 Why?

  • Fifteen years ago, alternative flours were seen as a niche market - something limited to those with an allergy to wheat or with 1970s-esque hippy leanings. But the wellness and clean eating movements of the 2010s, plus rising rates of coeliac disease, have put flour substitutes firmly on the map and widened the consumer base far beyond those with a medical issue. 
  • The pandemic baking boom led to widespread shortages of wheat flour, as lockdown boredom and confinement spurred consumers to bake their own bread. This inspired some to try out alternative flours, leading to a flood of new consumers for alt-flour makers. 
  • Using alt flour also has health and nutritional benefits - something we know consumers want. A Mexican study conducted in 2018 found that baked goods made using substitute flours have more functional characteristics without compromising on taste, texture or flavour. 
  • Lastly, many alt flours can point to more sustainable growing processes, which is something else consumers are looking for. 

🔍 How is it shaping up?

  • Flour has long been made from legumes: think gram flour, a popular staple ingredient in India. But this kind of alternative flour is enjoying a resurgence, with both established versions and newer iterations gaining popularity. Chickpea flour has been a boon for the ‘free-from’ market: a healthy, protein-packed swap for use in ready-made sweet and savoury baked goods. Now innovative new versions, like lupin flour (made from the lupini bean) are also coming to market. Popular with keto diet fans, it’s another exciting gluten-free option that is also high in fibre and protein. Australia is an established hub for lupin flour, with Golden West Foods and Lopino, but other continents are catching on: check out LUP’INGREDIENTS in France and The Lupin Company in the UK. 
  • In a similar vein, alternative nut-based flours are enjoying increased popularity - with an ever-widening variety of options coming to market. While ground almonds, for example, have long been used as a flour substitute in baked goods, lesser-known substitutes are now coming to the fore. Tiger nut flour is one such stand-in. Made from tubers that grow on the yellow nutsedge plant, it’s high in many vitamins and minerals and has a naturally sweet taste, making it ideal for use in baking applications.
  • Insect flour, most commonly produced from ground crickets, is also on the rise. Offering high protein levels and a neutral base flavour, the ground critters can be used in baking recipes as a substitute for ordinary wheat flour.  Thanks to insects' easy solubility, these flours can be handily transformed into the baked goods and treats consumers know and love - from crisps to chocolate and cookies. Bitty in the USA, Jimini’s in France, Kriket in the Benelux region and Origen Farms in Spain are just a handful of examples of startups in the insect flour space. 
  • Using the waste products of the beer-brewing process is also becoming big business in the alt flour space. ReGrained, Hewn Bread and Grain4Grain are all making flour and/or bread from brewers’ used grains. 

👀 Who? (23 companies in this space)


Planetarians x Barilla

🌻 Case study: Planetarians 

  • US ingredients startup Planetarians has devised a technique to make an alternative, functional flour from defatted sunflower seeds. 
  • Defatted sunflower seeds, if you’re wondering, are the empty husks left over after oil extraction. Usually, they’re thrown away, having little value, but Planetarians have turned this low-cost waste product into something special.
  • The brand’s trademark sunflower seed flower also offers health benefits, boasting twice the fibre and three times the amount of protein as conventional wheat flour. 
  • They’ve already teamed up with pasta makers Barilla Group to test their creation in flour-based products like pasta, bread and crackers, with trials finding equal performance when compared to wheat flour, and increased nutrition.
  • The sunflower seed flour’s profile as a high-protein and high-fibre ingredient is a boon for bakery companies looking to reposition themselves or offer the better-for-you alternatives increasing numbers of customers are looking for.
  • The company, founded in 2017, has raised almost 1 million dollars since its inception and are now crowdfunding to fund further expansion. Their partnership with Barilla also continues. 

🥖 Case study: Doves Farm

  • Heritage UK flour company Doves Farm, an organic flour specialist founded in 1978, are banking on the alternative flour trend with a new organic specialty flour range launched this summer. 
  • The new specialist range has been developed especially to appeal to ‘adventurous home bakers’, with coronavirus lockdowns contributing to the growth of this market. A rising demand for sustainable ingredients is also a further driver.
  • The new flour range encompasses six varieties: oat flour, coconut, chickpea, quinoa, teff and brown rice. The entire line is gluten-free, vegan, organic and a good source of protein and fibre. 
  • The latest offering comes in addition to their organic heritage flour range and four ancient grain flours launched in 2019. 
  • Thanks to the brand’s widespread retail presence across the UK, the range is already available in supermarkets across the country. 

👍 The good

  • A wider variety of options for those with a gluten allergy, coeliac disease or other wheat aversion can only be a good thing. The days of an uninspiringly tiny GF aisle in the supermarket will soon be a thing of the distant past. 
  • Alternative flours also offer environmental and nutritional benefits: global heating, the obesity epidemic, and more and more mouths to feed are just some of the issues alternative flours - especially those made using waste or byproducts - could help to solve. 
  • Consumer acceptance is high compared to even a decade ago, when the gluten-free wellness trend was just getting going, making now a good time for alt-flour brands and products to capitalise on the lockdown baking resurgence

👎 The bad

  • Lesser-known alternative flours, like tiger nut flour and Planetarian’s sunflower seed substitute, may struggle in terms of consumer awareness compared to tried and true options like almond and rice flour. 
  • What’s more, the conventional flour market is a huge one, promising hefty competition and with the weight of history, lobbying efforts and money on their side. That’s not to say the two can’t coexist, but it’s worth considering.
  • While there are stand-out benefits to many alternative flours - like their nutritional makeup - they differ in terms of how easy they are to substitute like for like in traditional baking recipes. Manufacturers and startups will have to be clear with consumers on the uses of their alternative products to avoid disappointment. 

 💡The bottom line

  • From almonds and tiger nuts to upcycled beer and sunflower seeds, the options in the alternative flour segment carry on multiplying. 
  • With several key benefits - sustainability, health, availability - in their favour, the power of alternative flour only looks set to grow.

How did you like today's Trends?

Love it 😁 Meh 😐 Hate it 🙁

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🍞 What is it?

  • Were you one of the lucky ones who spent lockdown baking bread and investigating sourdough? If so, you’ve helped contribute to the growing popularity of so-called alternative flours. 
  • Encompassing options from tiger nut flour to upcycled beer bread, the alternative flour space is diverse and growing. Increased interest from consumers in ketogenic, paleo and gluten-free diets for healthier lifestyles has helped propel what was once a pretty niche product into the mainstream.

🤔 Tell me more…

  • Alternative flours generally refer to ground flour products that can be used as a substitute to wheat flour, whether in baking, pasta, bread-making or other wheat-based foods. 
  • Retailers have reported rising sales of alternative flour to back up anecdotal evidence, citing lockdown baking as a key driver of sales. Organic flour maker Doves Farm also announced that sales of organic flour - both conventional and alternative - have risen by 84.2% in the last year. So what’s driving the trend? 

📈 The figures

  • The alternative flours market is expected to grow at a CAGR or 5.6% between 2020 and 2026.
  • The segment is already worth $247.4m, and is expected to grow to $307.7m by 2026.

🤷 Why?

  • Fifteen years ago, alternative flours were seen as a niche market - something limited to those with an allergy to wheat or with 1970s-esque hippy leanings. But the wellness and clean eating movements of the 2010s, plus rising rates of coeliac disease, have put flour substitutes firmly on the map and widened the consumer base far beyond those with a medical issue. 
  • The pandemic baking boom led to widespread shortages of wheat flour, as lockdown boredom and confinement spurred consumers to bake their own bread. This inspired some to try out alternative flours, leading to a flood of new consumers for alt-flour makers. 
  • Using alt flour also has health and nutritional benefits - something we know consumers want. A Mexican study conducted in 2018 found that baked goods made using substitute flours have more functional characteristics without compromising on taste, texture or flavour. 
  • Lastly, many alt flours can point to more sustainable growing processes, which is something else consumers are looking for. 

🔍 How is it shaping up?

  • Flour has long been made from legumes: think gram flour, a popular staple ingredient in India. But this kind of alternative flour is enjoying a resurgence, with both established versions and newer iterations gaining popularity. Chickpea flour has been a boon for the ‘free-from’ market: a healthy, protein-packed swap for use in ready-made sweet and savoury baked goods. Now innovative new versions, like lupin flour (made from the lupini bean) are also coming to market. Popular with keto diet fans, it’s another exciting gluten-free option that is also high in fibre and protein. Australia is an established hub for lupin flour, with Golden West Foods and Lopino, but other continents are catching on: check out LUP’INGREDIENTS in France and The Lupin Company in the UK. 
  • In a similar vein, alternative nut-based flours are enjoying increased popularity - with an ever-widening variety of options coming to market. While ground almonds, for example, have long been used as a flour substitute in baked goods, lesser-known substitutes are now coming to the fore. Tiger nut flour is one such stand-in. Made from tubers that grow on the yellow nutsedge plant, it’s high in many vitamins and minerals and has a naturally sweet taste, making it ideal for use in baking applications.
  • Insect flour, most commonly produced from ground crickets, is also on the rise. Offering high protein levels and a neutral base flavour, the ground critters can be used in baking recipes as a substitute for ordinary wheat flour.  Thanks to insects' easy solubility, these flours can be handily transformed into the baked goods and treats consumers know and love - from crisps to chocolate and cookies. Bitty in the USA, Jimini’s in France, Kriket in the Benelux region and Origen Farms in Spain are just a handful of examples of startups in the insect flour space. 
  • Using the waste products of the beer-brewing process is also becoming big business in the alt flour space. ReGrained, Hewn Bread and Grain4Grain are all making flour and/or bread from brewers’ used grains. 

👀 Who? (23 companies in this space)


Planetarians x Barilla

🌻 Case study: Planetarians 

  • US ingredients startup Planetarians has devised a technique to make an alternative, functional flour from defatted sunflower seeds. 
  • Defatted sunflower seeds, if you’re wondering, are the empty husks left over after oil extraction. Usually, they’re thrown away, having little value, but Planetarians have turned this low-cost waste product into something special.
  • The brand’s trademark sunflower seed flower also offers health benefits, boasting twice the fibre and three times the amount of protein as conventional wheat flour. 
  • They’ve already teamed up with pasta makers Barilla Group to test their creation in flour-based products like pasta, bread and crackers, with trials finding equal performance when compared to wheat flour, and increased nutrition.
  • The sunflower seed flour’s profile as a high-protein and high-fibre ingredient is a boon for bakery companies looking to reposition themselves or offer the better-for-you alternatives increasing numbers of customers are looking for.
  • The company, founded in 2017, has raised almost 1 million dollars since its inception and are now crowdfunding to fund further expansion. Their partnership with Barilla also continues. 

🥖 Case study: Doves Farm

  • Heritage UK flour company Doves Farm, an organic flour specialist founded in 1978, are banking on the alternative flour trend with a new organic specialty flour range launched this summer. 
  • The new specialist range has been developed especially to appeal to ‘adventurous home bakers’, with coronavirus lockdowns contributing to the growth of this market. A rising demand for sustainable ingredients is also a further driver.
  • The new flour range encompasses six varieties: oat flour, coconut, chickpea, quinoa, teff and brown rice. The entire line is gluten-free, vegan, organic and a good source of protein and fibre. 
  • The latest offering comes in addition to their organic heritage flour range and four ancient grain flours launched in 2019. 
  • Thanks to the brand’s widespread retail presence across the UK, the range is already available in supermarkets across the country. 

👍 The good

  • A wider variety of options for those with a gluten allergy, coeliac disease or other wheat aversion can only be a good thing. The days of an uninspiringly tiny GF aisle in the supermarket will soon be a thing of the distant past. 
  • Alternative flours also offer environmental and nutritional benefits: global heating, the obesity epidemic, and more and more mouths to feed are just some of the issues alternative flours - especially those made using waste or byproducts - could help to solve. 
  • Consumer acceptance is high compared to even a decade ago, when the gluten-free wellness trend was just getting going, making now a good time for alt-flour brands and products to capitalise on the lockdown baking resurgence

👎 The bad

  • Lesser-known alternative flours, like tiger nut flour and Planetarian’s sunflower seed substitute, may struggle in terms of consumer awareness compared to tried and true options like almond and rice flour. 
  • What’s more, the conventional flour market is a huge one, promising hefty competition and with the weight of history, lobbying efforts and money on their side. That’s not to say the two can’t coexist, but it’s worth considering.
  • While there are stand-out benefits to many alternative flours - like their nutritional makeup - they differ in terms of how easy they are to substitute like for like in traditional baking recipes. Manufacturers and startups will have to be clear with consumers on the uses of their alternative products to avoid disappointment. 

 💡The bottom line

  • From almonds and tiger nuts to upcycled beer and sunflower seeds, the options in the alternative flour segment carry on multiplying. 
  • With several key benefits - sustainability, health, availability - in their favour, the power of alternative flour only looks set to grow.

How did you like today's Trends?

Love it 😁 Meh 😐 Hate it 🙁

🍞 What is it?

  • Were you one of the lucky ones who spent lockdown baking bread and investigating sourdough? If so, you’ve helped contribute to the growing popularity of so-called alternative flours. 
  • Encompassing options from tiger nut flour to upcycled beer bread, the alternative flour space is diverse and growing. Increased interest from consumers in ketogenic, paleo and gluten-free diets for healthier lifestyles has helped propel what was once a pretty niche product into the mainstream.

🤔 Tell me more…

  • Alternative flours generally refer to ground flour products that can be used as a substitute to wheat flour, whether in baking, pasta, bread-making or other wheat-based foods. 
  • Retailers have reported rising sales of alternative flour to back up anecdotal evidence, citing lockdown baking as a key driver of sales. Organic flour maker Doves Farm also announced that sales of organic flour - both conventional and alternative - have risen by 84.2% in the last year. So what’s driving the trend? 

📈 The figures

  • The alternative flours market is expected to grow at a CAGR or 5.6% between 2020 and 2026.
  • The segment is already worth $247.4m, and is expected to grow to $307.7m by 2026.

🤷 Why?

  • Fifteen years ago, alternative flours were seen as a niche market - something limited to those with an allergy to wheat or with 1970s-esque hippy leanings. But the wellness and clean eating movements of the 2010s, plus rising rates of coeliac disease, have put flour substitutes firmly on the map and widened the consumer base far beyond those with a medical issue. 
  • The pandemic baking boom led to widespread shortages of wheat flour, as lockdown boredom and confinement spurred consumers to bake their own bread. This inspired some to try out alternative flours, leading to a flood of new consumers for alt-flour makers. 
  • Using alt flour also has health and nutritional benefits - something we know consumers want. A Mexican study conducted in 2018 found that baked goods made using substitute flours have more functional characteristics without compromising on taste, texture or flavour. 
  • Lastly, many alt flours can point to more sustainable growing processes, which is something else consumers are looking for. 

🔍 How is it shaping up?

  • Flour has long been made from legumes: think gram flour, a popular staple ingredient in India. But this kind of alternative flour is enjoying a resurgence, with both established versions and newer iterations gaining popularity. Chickpea flour has been a boon for the ‘free-from’ market: a healthy, protein-packed swap for use in ready-made sweet and savoury baked goods. Now innovative new versions, like lupin flour (made from the lupini bean) are also coming to market. Popular with keto diet fans, it’s another exciting gluten-free option that is also high in fibre and protein. Australia is an established hub for lupin flour, with Golden West Foods and Lopino, but other continents are catching on: check out LUP’INGREDIENTS in France and The Lupin Company in the UK. 
  • In a similar vein, alternative nut-based flours are enjoying increased popularity - with an ever-widening variety of options coming to market. While ground almonds, for example, have long been used as a flour substitute in baked goods, lesser-known substitutes are now coming to the fore. Tiger nut flour is one such stand-in. Made from tubers that grow on the yellow nutsedge plant, it’s high in many vitamins and minerals and has a naturally sweet taste, making it ideal for use in baking applications.
  • Insect flour, most commonly produced from ground crickets, is also on the rise. Offering high protein levels and a neutral base flavour, the ground critters can be used in baking recipes as a substitute for ordinary wheat flour.  Thanks to insects' easy solubility, these flours can be handily transformed into the baked goods and treats consumers know and love - from crisps to chocolate and cookies. Bitty in the USA, Jimini’s in France, Kriket in the Benelux region and Origen Farms in Spain are just a handful of examples of startups in the insect flour space. 
  • Using the waste products of the beer-brewing process is also becoming big business in the alt flour space. ReGrained, Hewn Bread and Grain4Grain are all making flour and/or bread from brewers’ used grains. 

👀 Who? (23 companies in this space)


Planetarians x Barilla

🌻 Case study: Planetarians 

  • US ingredients startup Planetarians has devised a technique to make an alternative, functional flour from defatted sunflower seeds. 
  • Defatted sunflower seeds, if you’re wondering, are the empty husks left over after oil extraction. Usually, they’re thrown away, having little value, but Planetarians have turned this low-cost waste product into something special.
  • The brand’s trademark sunflower seed flower also offers health benefits, boasting twice the fibre and three times the amount of protein as conventional wheat flour. 
  • They’ve already teamed up with pasta makers Barilla Group to test their creation in flour-based products like pasta, bread and crackers, with trials finding equal performance when compared to wheat flour, and increased nutrition.
  • The sunflower seed flour’s profile as a high-protein and high-fibre ingredient is a boon for bakery companies looking to reposition themselves or offer the better-for-you alternatives increasing numbers of customers are looking for.
  • The company, founded in 2017, has raised almost 1 million dollars since its inception and are now crowdfunding to fund further expansion. Their partnership with Barilla also continues. 

🥖 Case study: Doves Farm

  • Heritage UK flour company Doves Farm, an organic flour specialist founded in 1978, are banking on the alternative flour trend with a new organic specialty flour range launched this summer. 
  • The new specialist range has been developed especially to appeal to ‘adventurous home bakers’, with coronavirus lockdowns contributing to the growth of this market. A rising demand for sustainable ingredients is also a further driver.
  • The new flour range encompasses six varieties: oat flour, coconut, chickpea, quinoa, teff and brown rice. The entire line is gluten-free, vegan, organic and a good source of protein and fibre. 
  • The latest offering comes in addition to their organic heritage flour range and four ancient grain flours launched in 2019. 
  • Thanks to the brand’s widespread retail presence across the UK, the range is already available in supermarkets across the country. 

👍 The good

  • A wider variety of options for those with a gluten allergy, coeliac disease or other wheat aversion can only be a good thing. The days of an uninspiringly tiny GF aisle in the supermarket will soon be a thing of the distant past. 
  • Alternative flours also offer environmental and nutritional benefits: global heating, the obesity epidemic, and more and more mouths to feed are just some of the issues alternative flours - especially those made using waste or byproducts - could help to solve. 
  • Consumer acceptance is high compared to even a decade ago, when the gluten-free wellness trend was just getting going, making now a good time for alt-flour brands and products to capitalise on the lockdown baking resurgence

👎 The bad

  • Lesser-known alternative flours, like tiger nut flour and Planetarian’s sunflower seed substitute, may struggle in terms of consumer awareness compared to tried and true options like almond and rice flour. 
  • What’s more, the conventional flour market is a huge one, promising hefty competition and with the weight of history, lobbying efforts and money on their side. That’s not to say the two can’t coexist, but it’s worth considering.
  • While there are stand-out benefits to many alternative flours - like their nutritional makeup - they differ in terms of how easy they are to substitute like for like in traditional baking recipes. Manufacturers and startups will have to be clear with consumers on the uses of their alternative products to avoid disappointment. 

 💡The bottom line

  • From almonds and tiger nuts to upcycled beer and sunflower seeds, the options in the alternative flour segment carry on multiplying. 
  • With several key benefits - sustainability, health, availability - in their favour, the power of alternative flour only looks set to grow.

How did you like today's Trends?

Love it 😁 Meh 😐 Hate it 🙁

🍞 What is it?

  • Were you one of the lucky ones who spent lockdown baking bread and investigating sourdough? If so, you’ve helped contribute to the growing popularity of so-called alternative flours. 
  • Encompassing options from tiger nut flour to upcycled beer bread, the alternative flour space is diverse and growing. Increased interest from consumers in ketogenic, paleo and gluten-free diets for healthier lifestyles has helped propel what was once a pretty niche product into the mainstream.

🤔 Tell me more…

  • Alternative flours generally refer to ground flour products that can be used as a substitute to wheat flour, whether in baking, pasta, bread-making or other wheat-based foods. 
  • Retailers have reported rising sales of alternative flour to back up anecdotal evidence, citing lockdown baking as a key driver of sales. Organic flour maker Doves Farm also announced that sales of organic flour - both conventional and alternative - have risen by 84.2% in the last year. So what’s driving the trend? 

📈 The figures

  • The alternative flours market is expected to grow at a CAGR or 5.6% between 2020 and 2026.
  • The segment is already worth $247.4m, and is expected to grow to $307.7m by 2026.

🤷 Why?

  • Fifteen years ago, alternative flours were seen as a niche market - something limited to those with an allergy to wheat or with 1970s-esque hippy leanings. But the wellness and clean eating movements of the 2010s, plus rising rates of coeliac disease, have put flour substitutes firmly on the map and widened the consumer base far beyond those with a medical issue. 
  • The pandemic baking boom led to widespread shortages of wheat flour, as lockdown boredom and confinement spurred consumers to bake their own bread. This inspired some to try out alternative flours, leading to a flood of new consumers for alt-flour makers. 
  • Using alt flour also has health and nutritional benefits - something we know consumers want. A Mexican study conducted in 2018 found that baked goods made using substitute flours have more functional characteristics without compromising on taste, texture or flavour. 
  • Lastly, many alt flours can point to more sustainable growing processes, which is something else consumers are looking for. 

🔍 How is it shaping up?

  • Flour has long been made from legumes: think gram flour, a popular staple ingredient in India. But this kind of alternative flour is enjoying a resurgence, with both established versions and newer iterations gaining popularity. Chickpea flour has been a boon for the ‘free-from’ market: a healthy, protein-packed swap for use in ready-made sweet and savoury baked goods. Now innovative new versions, like lupin flour (made from the lupini bean) are also coming to market. Popular with keto diet fans, it’s another exciting gluten-free option that is also high in fibre and protein. Australia is an established hub for lupin flour, with Golden West Foods and Lopino, but other continents are catching on: check out LUP’INGREDIENTS in France and The Lupin Company in the UK. 
  • In a similar vein, alternative nut-based flours are enjoying increased popularity - with an ever-widening variety of options coming to market. While ground almonds, for example, have long been used as a flour substitute in baked goods, lesser-known substitutes are now coming to the fore. Tiger nut flour is one such stand-in. Made from tubers that grow on the yellow nutsedge plant, it’s high in many vitamins and minerals and has a naturally sweet taste, making it ideal for use in baking applications.
  • Insect flour, most commonly produced from ground crickets, is also on the rise. Offering high protein levels and a neutral base flavour, the ground critters can be used in baking recipes as a substitute for ordinary wheat flour.  Thanks to insects' easy solubility, these flours can be handily transformed into the baked goods and treats consumers know and love - from crisps to chocolate and cookies. Bitty in the USA, Jimini’s in France, Kriket in the Benelux region and Origen Farms in Spain are just a handful of examples of startups in the insect flour space. 
  • Using the waste products of the beer-brewing process is also becoming big business in the alt flour space. ReGrained, Hewn Bread and Grain4Grain are all making flour and/or bread from brewers’ used grains. 

👀 Who? (23 companies in this space)


Planetarians x Barilla

🌻 Case study: Planetarians 

  • US ingredients startup Planetarians has devised a technique to make an alternative, functional flour from defatted sunflower seeds. 
  • Defatted sunflower seeds, if you’re wondering, are the empty husks left over after oil extraction. Usually, they’re thrown away, having little value, but Planetarians have turned this low-cost waste product into something special.
  • The brand’s trademark sunflower seed flower also offers health benefits, boasting twice the fibre and three times the amount of protein as conventional wheat flour. 
  • They’ve already teamed up with pasta makers Barilla Group to test their creation in flour-based products like pasta, bread and crackers, with trials finding equal performance when compared to wheat flour, and increased nutrition.
  • The sunflower seed flour’s profile as a high-protein and high-fibre ingredient is a boon for bakery companies looking to reposition themselves or offer the better-for-you alternatives increasing numbers of customers are looking for.
  • The company, founded in 2017, has raised almost 1 million dollars since its inception and are now crowdfunding to fund further expansion. Their partnership with Barilla also continues. 

🥖 Case study: Doves Farm

  • Heritage UK flour company Doves Farm, an organic flour specialist founded in 1978, are banking on the alternative flour trend with a new organic specialty flour range launched this summer. 
  • The new specialist range has been developed especially to appeal to ‘adventurous home bakers’, with coronavirus lockdowns contributing to the growth of this market. A rising demand for sustainable ingredients is also a further driver.
  • The new flour range encompasses six varieties: oat flour, coconut, chickpea, quinoa, teff and brown rice. The entire line is gluten-free, vegan, organic and a good source of protein and fibre. 
  • The latest offering comes in addition to their organic heritage flour range and four ancient grain flours launched in 2019. 
  • Thanks to the brand’s widespread retail presence across the UK, the range is already available in supermarkets across the country. 

👍 The good

  • A wider variety of options for those with a gluten allergy, coeliac disease or other wheat aversion can only be a good thing. The days of an uninspiringly tiny GF aisle in the supermarket will soon be a thing of the distant past. 
  • Alternative flours also offer environmental and nutritional benefits: global heating, the obesity epidemic, and more and more mouths to feed are just some of the issues alternative flours - especially those made using waste or byproducts - could help to solve. 
  • Consumer acceptance is high compared to even a decade ago, when the gluten-free wellness trend was just getting going, making now a good time for alt-flour brands and products to capitalise on the lockdown baking resurgence

👎 The bad

  • Lesser-known alternative flours, like tiger nut flour and Planetarian’s sunflower seed substitute, may struggle in terms of consumer awareness compared to tried and true options like almond and rice flour. 
  • What’s more, the conventional flour market is a huge one, promising hefty competition and with the weight of history, lobbying efforts and money on their side. That’s not to say the two can’t coexist, but it’s worth considering.
  • While there are stand-out benefits to many alternative flours - like their nutritional makeup - they differ in terms of how easy they are to substitute like for like in traditional baking recipes. Manufacturers and startups will have to be clear with consumers on the uses of their alternative products to avoid disappointment. 

 💡The bottom line

  • From almonds and tiger nuts to upcycled beer and sunflower seeds, the options in the alternative flour segment carry on multiplying. 
  • With several key benefits - sustainability, health, availability - in their favour, the power of alternative flour only looks set to grow.

How did you like today's Trends?

Love it 😁 Meh 😐 Hate it 🙁

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