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Restaurants Hope Esoteric Grains Will Draw Diners, Boost Sales

March 10, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Sprouted grains are making their way onto restaurant menus, partly as a response to adverse market trends, but also to a growing consumer interest in esoteric ingredients. After a successful test, Panera Bread Co., is rolling out a sprouted-grain bagel made with rye, spelt and oat groats. Though it may seem like “hippie” food to older patrons, Panera and other chains see sprouted grains as an answer to a prayer. Competition has been stiffer recently, consumer spending has slowed. Restaurants have had to innovate to attract customers and energize sales. A market researcher calls sprouted grains a “good direction” for chain eateries because “grains have a very positive halo to consumers”.
Leslie Patton , "‘Hippie’ Grains Thrive as Panera Looks Beyond Whole Wheat", Bloomberg, March 10, 2014, © Bloomberg L.P.
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