Ingredient Focus - Organic durum wheat in North America

July 2019

Introduction to the organic durum wheat market

Durum wheat was introduced into western Canada in the late 19th Century, but the first variety developed in Canada, Stewart 63, was not released until 1963. Since durum wheat was less susceptible to stem rust than bread wheat varieties available at that time, its production surged in the 1960s during the stem rust epidemic in western Canada. Over the years, increased modern pasta-making technology made color of increasing importance for premium pasta and by today's standards, Stewart 63, was of poor quality. Important qualities in pasta were not met at a high standard as the gluten strength was weak, the yellow pigment content was low, and the pasta texture was poor.

Canadian durum wheat is grown and cultivated in the southern prairies of western Canada, in areas with hot arid summers and with light brown soil. Canadian durum wheat is classified into four Canada Western Amber Durum (CWAD) wheat milling grades using grade standards set by the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC). The intrinsic quality of CWAD must be assured by measuring up to strict regulations that must conform to a set quality model, before a very selected few varieties are registered on the market.

Extensive research projects have been examined by the CGC to reflect the scope of durum wheat and study the implications that gluten strength play on determining important increased quality measures such as pasta firmness, stretchiness and texture, pasta's brightness, yellowness and pigment color stability, its cooking quality, and ensuring lower levels of polyphenol oxidase and peroxidase (enzymes that catalyzes oxidation-reduction reactions), along with maintaining lower Cadmium levels found in the pasta. Numerous breed varieties have been developed over the last half century to improve nutrition and broaden market opportunities like enriching the pasta with high-fibre fractions from hull-less barley and blending cheaper, moderate strength semolina, while ensuring that the necessary gluten strength does not overly affect the quality of the pasta. Although less explored and generally not considered the priority market over pasta, there is also potential to develop multi-purpose durum wheat varieties for baking that can be used for high volume bread and popular products like Asian yellow alkaline noodles (YAN)Footnote 1.

Trade overview

The supply of Canadian exports for 'organic' durum wheat was first reported separately by Statistics Canada, from regular durum wheat supply, starting in 2017. Eleven American states imported this 'organic' supply of Canadian Durum wheat in 2017. However, several American states are now reporting zero trade volume/value of imports in 2018 (Idaho, Kansas, Massachusetts and South Carolina), while others have decided to enter the 'organic' market in 2018 (Pennsylvania, Missouri, Washington state, Arizona and Utah).

In 2018, the top states that Canada exported to within the United States (US) for the supply of 'organic' durum wheat was North Dakota (significantly dropping from Can$12.9 million in 2017 to Can$7.0 million in 2018), Montana (Can$3.7 million) and after Minnesota reduced its import value from Can$1.1 million in 2017 to Can$469,152 in 2018, Pennsylvania (Can$614,880).

Top ten US states that Canada exports to for the supply of 'organic' durum wheat, 2017-2018 measured value in Canadian dollars and volume in metric tons (Harmonized System (HS) code (10011910): Certified organic durum wheat, other than seed for sowing)
US state Export value (Can$) Export quantity (metric tons)
2017 2018 2017 2018
North Dakota 12,852,558 6,950,420 16,503 8,150
Montana 2,913,973 3,700,574 3,291 4,246
Pennsylvania 0 614,880 0 1,057
Missouri 0 470,414 0 593
Minnesota 1,084,468 469,152 1,369 479
Washington state 0 463,668 0 671
Arizona 0 371,830 0 367
Michigan 46,316 63,300 58 120
Wisconsin 79,360 50,903 65 40
Utah 0 48,101 0 71
Total exports to US of durum wheat 17,200,623 13,259,095 21,743 15,883
Source: Statistic Canada, CATSNET analytics

Market characteristics

Background

From the beginning, Italy, has been an important durum wheat market for Canada, whom drove awareness that strong gluten was an important determinant of pasta firmness. Improving gluten strength of CWAD became an additional priority over the years. Improved CWAD quality made Canada a preferred supplier of durum wheat in high quality markets, and resulted in annual production of over 2 million metric tons (MT) by the late 1970s.Footnote 1

After the first variety of durum wheat was registered in 1963, the Canadian durum wheat breeding program developed key properties in 1969 to measure quality standards in wheat such as protein percent content, Semolina levels (gluten stretchiness minimum level), and spaghetti pigment concentration and cooking quality (measured in parts per million and cooking score in units) in variety breeds such as the Stewart 63, Pelissier, Hercules, Wascana, and Wakooma. "Eventually Kyle, a variety of similar gluten strength to Wakooma, but known to have higher yellow pigment content and better agronomic properties, was registered in 1984. Kyle quickly became the dominant CWAD variety, and accounted for over 50% of CWAD seeded area throughout the late 1980s and throughout all of the 1990s. Production increased and the average annual production was in excess of four million MT by the mid-1990s,"Footnote 1

Furthermore, the introduction of high and ultra-high temperature drying (60°C to 110°C) transitioned the pasta from mediocre quality to acceptable or superior cooking quality, where meeting gluten strength stretchiness became less of an issue. This introduced new breeds (AC Avonlea, AC Navigator, Strongfield, Commander) in the 2005 Canadian durum wheat program and still yet, introducing higher standard requirements in properties like keeping Cadmium levels to a minimum (a food safety issue), measuring up to the gluten index (GI) standard, passing test data curved in an Alveograph (semolina strength specifications) and for the measurement of spaghetti firmness and determining whether the spaghetti met the optimum cooking time or was overcooked during processing. These new breeds exhibited much stronger gluten than previous CWAD varieties and they also demonstrated the more favorable yellow pigment characteristic. The AC Navigator and the Commander variety ended up meeting strict standards and were registered on the market, along with the Strongfield that became the leading CWAD variety by 2007, where the level of cadmium was no longer an issue.Footnote 1

Durum wheat has a long history of use for traditional flat breads and specialty breads in Mediterranean countries. Durum wheat baking performance improves as gluten becomes stronger and is proportionately correlated with its unextractable polymeric protein (UPP) content. So baking with it often results in inefficiencies since the stronger wheat tends to be glutinous where the doughs elasticity is limited, reducing the loaf volume production level with its lengthy baking times. There has been interest in developing studies to improve the quality of durum wheat, however, pasta has been the priority market over the years and is often the most important end product for manufacturers. Nevertheless, although durum wheat genotypes tend to be weak and of inferior baking quality, there has been increased possibility to develop dual purpose (pasta/bread) durum wheat varieties (as demonstrated in a few selected bread product examples outlined at the end of this report).Footnote 1

In Canada, only the pasta and noodle sector is reported in terms of having the 'organic' claim attached to the market for the organic naturally healthy (NH) chilled and dried pasta categories. In the US, the American market reports organic product retail sale volumes additionally from within the organic bakery and cereals sector. Overall, the organic claim is less explored from within Canada than from within the States for these two sectors where more than 100 companies are associated with organic brand trademark or privately labelled products in the US, while Canada promotes the claim in around 51 organic companies.

Keeping in mind that the population in 2017, within the US (326.5 million) was almost 9 times larger than Canada (36.6 million), the US significantly reported a much larger total volume in retail sales within the organic pasta and noodles sector (including additional categories: shelf-stable and dried and instant plain noodles) of 88.5 million kilograms (Mkg). Meanwhile, Canada reported a volume of 0.4 Mkg of naturally healthy (NH) chilled and dried organic pasta in 2017 (see page 18 for definitions or descriptions within the reported pasta and noodle categories).

Canadian market size of the 'organic' pasta and noodles sector, historical based on retail off-trade volume sales, in million kilograms (Mkg)
Category segment Product attribute (segment) 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 CAGR* % 2014-2018
Organic pasta and noodles 0.3 0.4 0.4 0.4 N/A 5.3
Chilled pasta Naturally healthy (NH) 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 N/A 3.0
Dried pasta Naturally healthy (NH) 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 N/A 7.8

Source: GlobalData Intelligence Center: Consumer, 2019

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

N/A: Not Available

American market size of the 'organic' bakery and cereals, pasta and noodles sectors, historical based on retail off-trade volume sales, in million kilograms (Mkg)
Category segment Product attribute (segment) 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 CAGR* % 2014-2018
Organic pasta and noodles 88.3 88.7 89.3 88.5 N/A 0.1
Shelf-stable pasta Naturally healthy (NH) 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.7 N/A −1.8
Chilled pasta Naturally healthy (NH) 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.4 N/A 2.0
Dried and instant "plain" noodles "Free from" (no added sodium/salt) 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.3 N/A 0.9
Naturally healthy (NH) 3.5 3.6 3.6 3.6 N/A 0.8
Dried pasta Food intolerance (gluten-free) 9.5 9.6 9.7 9.6 N/A 0.4
"Free from" (no added sodium/salt) 2.9 2.9 2.9 2.9 N/A 0.1
Naturally healthy (NH) 65.2 65.4 65.8 65.0 N/A −0.1
Organic bakery and cereals 302.8 308.4 307.3 316.2 318.3 1.3
Cocoa-baking Naturally healthy (NH) 1.6 1.6 1.6 1.7 1.7 1.8
Fruit pectins and glazed fruit Naturally healthy (NH) 12.4 12.6 12.7 12.9 13.1 1.4
Other baking ingredients Naturally healthy (NH) 28.0 28.3 28.7 29.3 29.8 1.6
Bread mixes Naturally healthy (NH) 1.7 1.5 1.4 1.4 1.3 −6.0
Other baking mixes Naturally healthy (NH) 5.8 4.0 3.3 3.0 2.7 −17.4
Pancake mixes Food intolerance (gluten-free) 2.5 2.3 2.2 2.1 1.9 −6.5
Naturally healthy (NH) 3.9 3.6 3.4 3.2 3.0 −6.4
Bread and rolls 'Free from' 53.1 54.4 55.3 56.3 57.1 1.8
Functional and fortified (added Omega-3) 5.1 5.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 4.3
NH multi-grain, source of fiber, other 111.1 114.9 116.9 120.4 123.6 2.7
Breakfast hot cereals NH source of fiber 26.2 27.8 29.2 30.6 32.2 5.3
Ready-to-eat cereals NH source of fiber, other 23.7 23.3 23.6 25.5 25.7 2.1
Granola/muesli/yogurt bars Naturally healthy (NH) 4.1 4.7 4.9 5.1 5.3 6.3
Cookies NH sweet biscuits 3.1 3.2 3.2 3.7 N/A 5.5
NH Better-for-you plain cookies 6.6 6.6 6.5 6.4 6.2 −1.7
NH other cookies 3.7 4.1 4.2 4.5 4.7 6.1
Dough products Naturally healthy (NH) 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.2 2.2 2.8
Cheese-flavored cracker Naturally healthy (NH) 8.4 8.2 8.0 8.0 7.8 −1.8

Source: GlobalData Intelligence Center: Consumer, 2019

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

N/A: Not Available

Consumption trends

Yellow alkaline noodles (YAN), is a durum wheat noodle that dominates in Asian markets, accounting for about 35% of flour consumption (Hatcher, 2001). This noodle is sheeted and cut from fresh dough consisting of flour, water, alkaline salts and sodium chloride which vary in concentrations depending on local taste. YAN are usually purchased by consumers fresh on a daily basis and its quality is judged on its visual appearance in terms of color, brightness and its absence of visible specks. Durum wheat has enormous potential as a raw material for YAN, either alone or in blends with common wheat flour.Footnote 1

Different varieties of products have been introduced over the last few years that contain all natural and unprocessed 100% organic whole wheat durum semolina. Manufactured in Canada by the Agro Fusion company and newly launched in the Canadian supermarkets as of March 2017, within the stuffing, polenta and other side dishes sub-category was the Agro Fusion brand product called "Organic Whole Wheat Couscous." Also, eaten as a vegan entrée or healthier side dish alternative is the "Spicy Cajun Pilaf" product made from organic Bulgar (durum wheat bulgur), manufactured and launched in the US by the Garlic Clove Foods company as of January, 2016 (Mintel GNPD, 2019).

Retail market

Retail sales within the Canadian 'organic' pasta and noodles sector was US$3.8 million in 2018 and is expected to grow to US$4.6 million by 2022, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.9% between 2019 to 2022. Per capita consumption of regular pasta and noodle products in Canada was 6.0 kilogramsx (kg) in 2017, higher than the global level (3.84kg) and is expected to grow to reach 6.4kg by 2022. Also higher when compared to the global level (US$10.43), per capita expenditure in this sector stood at US$25.10 in 2017. Chilled or 'fresh' pasta is the largest category with 'organic' value sales of US$2.3 million in 2018. However, the dried 'organic' pasta category is expected to grow the fastest at a CAGR of 7.4% over the next 4-year period.Footnote 2

Retail sales within the US 'organic' pasta and noodles sector was US$324.3 million in 2018 and is expected to grow to US$377.3 by 2022, at a CAGR of 3.7% between 2019 to 2022. Per capita consumption of regular pasta and noodles was lower than the global level (3.84kg) in the US that accounted for 3.79kg in 2017. Higher when compared to the global level (US$10.43), per capita expenditure of this sector stood at US$15.79 in the US. Dried pasta is the largest category with 'organic' value sales of US$244.6 million in 2018. However, opposite from Canada, the chilled or 'fresh organic' pasta category is forecast to grow the fastest at a CAGR of 5.4% over the next 4-year period.Footnote 3

Canadian retail sales of the organic bakery and cereals, pasta and noodles sectors, historical and forecast fixed exchange rates (2017) - value based on off-trade sales, US$
Category segment Product attribute (segment) 2015 2018 CAGR* % 2015-2018 2019 2022 CAGR* % 2019-2022
Organic pasta and noodles 3.3 3.8 5.1 4.0 4.6 4.9
Chilled pasta Naturally healthy (NH) 2.3 2.5 3.6 2.6 2.9 3.5
Dried pasta Naturally healthy (NH) 1.0 1.3 8.2 1.4 1.7 7.4

Source: GlobalData Intelligence Center: Consumer, 2019

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

American retail sales of the organic bakery and cereals, pasta and noodles sectors, historical and forecast fixed exchange rates (2017) - value based on off-trade sales, US$
Category segment Product attribute (segment) 2015 2018 CAGR* % 2015-2018 2019 2022 CAGR* % 2019-2022
Organic pasta and noodles 296.2 324.3 3.1 337.9 377.3 3.7
Shelf-stable pasta Naturally healthy (NH) 3.8 3.8 0.5 3.9 4.0 0.9
Chilled pasta Naturally healthy (NH) 2.6 2.9 4.7 3.1 3.7 5.4
Dried and instant 'plain' noodles 'Free from' (no added sodium/salt) 32.3 34.7 2.4 35.9 39.2 3.0
Naturally healthy (NH) 35.7 38.1 2.2 39.4 42.9 2.9
Dried pasta Food intolerance (gluten-free) 25.4 28.3 3.7 29.6 33.6 4.3
'Free from' (no added sodium/salt) 7.7 8.5 3.5 8.9 10.1 4.1
Naturally healthy (NH) 188.6 207.8 3.3 217.0 243.8 4.0
Organic bakery and cereals 1,740.1 1,869.6 2.4 1,963.9 2,186.4 3.6
Cocoa-baking Naturally healthy (NH) 13.9 15.2 3.2 15.8 17.2 2.9
Fruit pectins and glazed fruit Naturally healthy (NH) 83.9 89.6 2.2 91.9 97.4 2.0
Other baking ingredients Naturally healthy (NH) 123.6 134.6 2.9 139.5 150.6 2.6
Bread mixes Naturally healthy (NH) 4.1 3.6 −4.3 3.5 3.2 −2.9
Other baking mixes Naturally healthy (NH) 102.4 82.8 −6.8 78.6 68.7 −4.4
Pancake mixes Food intolerance (gluten-free) 1.1 1.2 3.2 1.2 1.3 1.9
Naturally healthy (NH) 1.3 1.4 2.3 1.4 1.5 1.9
Bread and rolls 'Free from' 229.4 269.7 5.5 284.7 330.3 5.1
Functional and fortified (added Omega-3) 32.9
NH multi-grain, source of fiber, other 479.0 490.3 0.8 520.4 609.9 5.4
Breakfast hot cereals NH source of fiber 193.7 224.8 5.1 237.1 254.1 2.3
Ready-to-eat cereals NH source of fiber, other 169.4 206.9 6.9 218.4 228.6 1.5
Granola/muesli/yogurt bars Naturally healthy (NH) 94.9 109.4 4.9 114.8 124.2 2.7
Cookies NH sweet biscuits 61.6 83.1 10.5 94.8 131.9 11.6
NH Better-for-you plain cookies 39.8 40.4 0.6 40.9 40.6 −0.3
NH other cookies 11.8 17.2 13.5 19.1 24.3 8.3
Dough products Naturally healthy (NH) 16.0 17.8 3.7 18.8 19.8 1.8
Cheese-flavored cracker Naturally healthy (NH) 81.7 81.6 −0.1 82.7 82.8 0.0

Source: GlobalData Intelligence Center: Consumer, 2019

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Foodservice and retail sales distribution of pasta and noodles (on/off-trade)

Throughout North America, hypermarket and supermarkets is the leading retail distribution channel (separate from the foodservice market) in the regular pasta and noodles sector by a value share of 83.4% in the US and by 84.9% share in Canada, respectively in 2017. Similarly in both countries, convenience stores have the second largest share value, while eRetailers is the third-most popular distribution channel in the United States and "dollar stores", variety stores and general merchandise retailers are fairly popular in Canada to purchase pasta products.

In the 'for profit' foodservice sector, pasta and noodles are distributed mostly through the restaurant channel by a value share of 76.2% in the US and by 85.6% share in Canada, followed by the accommodation channel distribution throughout North America. Contrastly from within each country, the education (cost operators) is the top distribution channel throughout US institutions, while healthcare (cost operators) is the top distribution channel with the highest operator buying price (OBP) sales throughout Canada.

Distribution channels of pasta and noodles sector in North America by outlet type, sales value in US$ and % share
Outlets OBP* sales value in 2017 (US$ millions) Market share % in 2017
Canada United States Canada United States
Foodservice (profit operators) 133.4 1,805.7 12.5 23.7
Accommodation 10.2 153.0 1.0 2.0
Leisure 3.8 62.9 0.4 0.8
Mobile operator .8 9.2 0.1 0.1
Pub, club and bar .3 11.8 0.0 0.2
Restaurant 114.2 1,375.5 10.7 18.1
Retail foodservice providers 1.7 127.5 0.2 1.7
Travel 1.2 25.7 0.1 0.3
Workplace 1.0 40.0 0.1 0.5
Institutional (cost operators) 7.5 627.9 0.7 8.2
Education 2.1 418.5 0.2 5.5
Healthcare 3.4 107.4 0.3 1.4
Military and civil defence 1.1 41.2 0.1 0.5
Welfare and services .9 60.9 0.1 0.8
Retail (separate from foodservice) 922.8 5,182.9 86.8 68.1
Cash and carries and warehouse clubs 13.7 87.5 1.3 1.1
Convenience stores 81.2 431.7 7.6 5.7
Food and drinks specialists .8 12.7 0.1 0.2
Hypermarkets and supermarkets 783.1 4,320.7 73.6 56.7
Others 18.4 102.1 1.7 1.3
eRetailers 9.6 123.3 0.9 1.6
"Dollar stores", variety stores and general merchandise retailers 16.0 104.9 1.5 1.4
Pasta and noodle sector[1]: 1,063.7 7,616.5 100.0 100.0

Source: GlobalData Intelligence Center - Consumer, 2019

*OBP: Operator Buying Price

1: Includes 'regular' or both organic and non-organic sales

Competitive landscape

The US leads over Canada in terms of the high prevalence in 'organic' companies within the pasta and noodle sector. Private label organic companies hold the largest market share in 2017 within the US. The top organic American trademark companies by retail sales in the pasta and noodles category are Barilla, the Hain Celestial Group and Ebro Foods, S.A, whereby the top 5 trademark companies hold 29.4% market share, 22.0% in privately labelled companies and 19.9% in 'other' companies for a combined total of 71.3% in 2017. The bakery and cereal category in the US held 89.0% share within the top five trademark, privately labelled and 'others' companies comprising of leaders such as Rudi's, Mondelez International and the Hain Celestial Group.

Canada, reporting only within the pasta and noodle sector consists of only two leading organic companies including Les Aliments O'Sole Mio (sales of US$1.3 million) and Prairie Harvest (sales of US$0.9 million) in 2017. The 'others' company category represented 27.6% and 'private labels' at 12.3% market share for a combined total of 99.6% share within the aforementioned organic companies.

Top companies in North America by retail sales in selected organic sectors, using flexible exchange rates, US$ and % share
Trademark owner Retail sales (US$ millions) Market share % in 2017
2014 2015 2016 2017
Canada
Pasta and noodles 3.1 3.3 3.4 3.6 100.0
Les Aliments O'Sole Mio 1.3 1.2 1.2 1.3 34.8
Others 1.1 0.9 0.9 1.0 27.6
Prairie Harvest 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.9 24.9
Private Label 0.5 0.4 0.4 0.4 12.3
United States
Pasta and noodles 288.1 296.2 305.7 314.2 100.0
Private Label 61.5 64.1 66.6 69.0 22.0
Others 65.0 63.7 63.2 62.4 19.9
Barilla 25.0 26.3 27.4 28.6 9.1
The Hain Celestial Group Inc. 14.8 15.4 16.0 16.7 5.3
Ebro Foods, S.A. 13.9 14.5 15.1 15.7 5.0
Food Directions Inc. 13.9 14.4 15.0 15.6 5.0
Bionaturae, LLC 13.8 14.3 15.0 15.6 5.0
Bakery and cereals 1,673.5 1,740.1 1,713.9 1,793.3 100.0
Rudi's 542.7 579.6 618.0 654.2 36.5
Mondelez International, Inc. 196.4 211.9 224.2 242.5 13.5
Others 178.7 177.6 178.2 183.1 10.2
The Hain Celestial Group Inc. 161.2 157.3 152.7 149.3 8.3
PepsiCo 138.5 140.7 142.3 145.2 8.1
Post Holdings, Inc. 98.6 101.1 119.4 125.7 7.0
Private Label 75.2 85.6 90.3 96.3 5.4
Source: GlobalData Intelligence Center - Consumer, 2019

Product launch analysis in North America

Some pasta manufacturers blend durum wheat and/or semolina to maintain consistent strength, while still meeting GI specifications. The advantage of blending helps to develop consistent processing characteristics, leading to a more consistent final product and reducing the overall cost if blended with an inexpensive weak gluten semolina with very strong gluten durum wheat genotypes. Although there are advantages to having stronger gluten durum wheat genotypes, there is no conclusive evidence that mixing with a weaker gluten semolina will affect the quality of the pasta texture, nor does the pasta firmness improve with increases in strength, and it doesn't affect the pasta cooking quality rating either.Footnote 1

Early in 2005, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), allowed the introduction of whole grain barley and barley food ingredients to be added during the diverse starch pasting process of pasta. Whole grain barley and barley are found to contain major fibre constituents that have proven to have health benefits that claim to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. In particular, fibre-rich hull-less barley fractions are said to have elevated levels of beta-glucans and arabinoxylans (amylose starches with 'less waxy' characteristics), along with other important beneficial nutrients. The added fibre-rich fractions (FRF) into spaghetti derived by roller milling (produced without any chemicals), was found to have potential to increase dietary fibre in pasta, where the often important coloring characteristic of FRF-enriched spaghetti was tested to be inferior to 100% durum wheat semolina spaghetti (decreasing brightness, yellowness, increasing redness, and increased speckiness in the normal amylose genotype), but were still found to be acceptable in quality standards.Footnote 1

According to Mintel's Global New Products Database (2019), a total of 4,186 food products that contain durum wheat ingredient types were launched throughout North America with 640 products (15.3%) meeting organic standards between the period of January 2014 and April 2019. Out of the 640 organic products, 187 products were new products, 286 were of new packaging or of new variety/range extension launch types; 130 had new packaging labels, 36 were relaunched products, while only 1 product consisted of a new formulation. During this period, Canada launched approximately 41.8% of the overall durum wheat products in comparison to the US. However, the US leads in claiming that their durum wheat products contained organic ingredients with a total item count of 510 products, over Canada with 130 organic products released over the specified period. In fact, the US has over 100 companies producing organic durum wheat products, while Canada has only 51 similar registered trademark name branded or privately labelled companies on the market today (as reported by Mintel).

Number of products launched containing durum wheat in North America, total product item count (4,186), historical (January 2014 - April 2019)
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Country 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
United States 554 478 571 594 602 152
Canada 243 205 213 136 317 121

Source: Mintel, 2019

Number of products launched containing 'organic' durum wheat in North America, total product item count (640), historical (January 2014 - April 2019)
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Country 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
United States 62 84 118 90 110 46
Canada 25 10 27 13 37 18

Source: Mintel, 2018

Number of products launched containing 'organic' durum wheat in North America, by launch type, historical (January 2014 - April 2019)
Description of this image follows.
Description of above image
  • New product: 187
  • New variety/range extension: 286
  • New packaging: 130
  • New formulation: 1
  • Relaunch: 36
Number of products launched containing 'organic' durum wheat in North America, by country and by launch type, historical (January 2014 - April 2019)
Country Launch type
New product New variety / range extension New packaging New formulation Relaunch
Canada 52 53 21 0 4
United States 135 233 109 1 32
Total 187 286 130 1 36
Source: Mintel, 2019

The top ingredient found in 'organic' durum wheat products was blended durum wheat semolina, which was found in 38.2% of American products and in 68.5% of Canadian products (overall within 44.4% products throughout North America). Bulgar, durum flour, semolina, and white whole wheat flour made from durum wheat were also amongst the most popular ingredients.

Key ingredients found in 'organic' durum wheat products in North America by ingredient type and product item count, historical (January 2014 - April 2019)
Top ingredients Number of products in Canada Number of products in United States Total number of products throughout North America
Durum wheat semolina 89 195 284
Bulgar 31 99 130
Durum flour 15 104 119
Semolina 5 97 102
Durum wheat 2 18 20
White whole wheat flour (from Durum wheat) 1 18 19
Wheat sourdough 2 2 4
Durum wheat grit 2 0 2
Freekeh 0 2 2
Golden amber durum wheat semolina 1 0 1
Other child ingredients: Siyez bulgar, wheat (Senatore Cappelli), semolina porridge, durum wheat sourdough, Cappelli durum wheat semolina 0 0 0
Total sample size 130 510 640
Source: Mintel, 2019

As expected, the top category for 'organic' durum wheat products were found within side dishes otherwise known as pasta products at 52.0% market share. The 'meals and meal center' was the 2nd most popular product category at 18.6% share, which usually includes microwaveable pasta products like Amy's bowls ravioli brands and a product called 'Tagliatelle Grilled White Chicken and Portebello Mushroom Sauce' (made from durum wheat semolina pasta). Bakery products consisting of the sub-category - bread and bread products was the next top category at 18.3% share, followed by soups like the 'Progresso Organic' minestrone wet soup brand from General Mills sold at Kroger supermarkets in the US.

The United States led in all of the 'organic' durum wheat categories except from within the savoury spreads category, where Canada launched 7 products over the US, who never entered new launches in this food category from January 2014 to April 2019. Canada entered this category as early as December 2014 (with new combinations launched every year from 2016 to 2018) with its 'Summer Fresh Snack'N Go' products where the crackers contain durum wheat semolina wheat flour, consisting of roasted garlic or red pepper and original flavoured hummus and with its crackers/flatbread combo snacks, along with its 'Arahova Mediterranean Kitchens YogoSNAX' spinach dip with sesame crackers product combination introduced in July 2015. Overall, the US holds 79.7% of the North American market share over Canada who holds 20.3%.

Important to note is the fact that 57.5% of the organic durum wheat pasta products launched in North America since January 2014 and found within the side dishes category distribution type are manufactured in Italy. Approximately 9.9% of such pasta products are manufactured in the US and 6.9% are manufactured in Canada. Moreover, 26.5% of organic durum wheat bakery or bread products launched in North America were manufactured domestically either in the US or Canada.

Generally, mostly all of the American 'shelf-stable' or 'dried' organic pasta products are manufactured in Italy. Upon close analysis, it appears that around five US companies domestically manufactures these products, often *launched in Canada for three out of the 5 product examples including: Eden Foods (brand: Eden - ie; *Organic Vegetable Alphabets Pasta), The Pasta Shoppe (Pastabilities - Italian Inspired Organic Pumpkin Shaped Pasta), Overwaitea Food (Western Family Organic - *Mac and Cheese dinner), Whole Foods Market (365 Everyday Value - Organic Mac and Cheese), and Greenspace Brands (Nudge Food Made Better - *Whole Wheat with Flax Macaroni and Orange Cheddar Cheese dinner).

Although Canada has launched less side dish organic pasta products, altogether showing lower domestically manufactured percentage shares, the country does in actuality manufacture more of its 'shelf-stable' or 'dried' quality pasta products rather than importing from Italy. Product company and brand examples include the following (with two products *launched in the US): D'ici Pâtes (Mini d'ici - Organic Alphabet Pasta), GrissPasta Products (Giardino - Linguine Organic Pasta), Barilla (Barilla Organic - *Spaghetti Pasta), Wegmans Food (Wegmans Italian Classics - *Cheese Sacchettini Pasta), Wal-Mart (Great Value Organic - Penne Pasta), Prairie Harvest (Prairie Harvest - Organic Spaghetti), and Kaslo Sourdough Pasta (Kaslo Sourdough Pasta - Classic Radiatori Pasta).

Category distribution of 'organic' durum wheat products in North America by category type and product item count, historical (January 2014 - April 2019)
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  • Side dishes (pasta): 52.0%
  • Meals and meal centers: 18.6%
  • Bakery (bread and bread products): 18.3%
  • Soup: 4.1%
  • Snacks: 2.2%
  • Sauces and seasonings: 1.9%
  • Savoury spreads: 1.1%
  • Baby food: 1.1%
  • Processed fish, meat and egg products: 0.8%

Total sample size: 640

Source: Mintel, 2019

Countries of manufacture for 'organic' durum wheat products in North America by top 3 category distribution types and product item count, historical(January 2014 - April 2019)
Country of manufacture Category distribution type (product item and percent share count*)
Side dishes (pasta) Meals and meal centers Bakery (bread products)
Product item count Product count share (%) Product item count Product count share (%) Product item count Product count share (%)
Italy 191 29.8 17 2.7 1 0.2
United States 33 5.2 23 3.6 24 3.8
Canada 23 3.6 6 0.9 7 1.1
France 3 0.5 0 0.0 0 0.0
Turkey 1 0.2 0 0.0 0 0.0
Total 332 51.9 120 18.8 117 18.3

Source: Mintel, 2019

*Percent share count (%): Calculated out of total sample size of 640 products

Top claims often associated with 'organic' durum wheat products from January 2014 to April 2019, were no additives/preservatives, GMO free, Kosher, ethically environmental/sustainable friendly, wholegrain, all natural and vegan/no animal ingredients. Fifteenth on the list was the low/no/reduced allergen claim, along with high/added fiber and premium claims found within the top 20 organic, often naturally healthy positioning claims.

Top positioning claims on products containing 'organic' durum wheat in North America, by product item count, historical (January 2014 - April 2019)
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Claim United States (510) Canada (130)
Organic 396 104
No additives/preservatives 236 28
GMO free 207 30
Kosher 198 67
Ethical-environmentally friendly package 130 38
Ethical-sustainable (habitat/resources) 105 11
Wholegrain 84 31
All natural 69 14
Vegan/no animal ingredients 65 27
Low/no/reduced allergen (15th) 45 14
High/added fiber (17th) 35 14
Premium (20th) 40 2

Total sample size: 640

Source: Mintel, 2019

The top 3 Canadian 'organic' companies are Biotalia, Ozery Bakery, and Agritalia, which comprise of 19.2% of the market share for the number of product launches since January 2014 within Canada based out of a total of 130 products. Top brands respectively include Biotalia, Ozery Bakery One Bun and Bella Italia.

Leading Canadian companies for product launches containing 'organic' durum wheat ingredients, by product item count and % share, historical (January 2014 - April 2019)
Leading Canadian 'organic' companies Top brand(s) Product item count Product count share (%)
Biotalia Biotalia 11 8.5
Ozery Bakery Ozery Bakery One Bun 8 6.2
Agritalia Bella Italia 6 4.6
Distribution Épicerie C.T.S. Ilios 5 3.8
La Coopérative d'Alentour Artisan Tradition 5 3.8
Loblaws PC Organics 5 3.8
Les Aliments O'Sole Mio O'Sole Moi Organic 5 3.8
Kaslo Sourdough Pasta Kaslo Sourdough Pasta 5 3.8
Pastificio Lucio Garofalo Garafalo 5 3.8
9301-1062 Quebec Signor Bio 4 3.1
Total sample size 130 100.0
Source: Mintel, 2019

With independently different trademark names over Canada, the top 3 American 'organic' companies are Valley Fine Foods (brands: Three Bridges, Artisola), Wegmans (brands: Wegmans Organic, Italian Organic/Classics), and Kroger (brand: Simple Truth Organics), which comprise of 17.3% of the market share for the number of product launches within the US based out of a total of 510 products.

Leading American companies for product launches containing 'organic' Durum wheat ingredients, by product item count and % share, historical (January 2014 - April 2019)
Leading American 'organic' companies Top brand(s) Product item count Product count share (%)
Valley Fine Foods Three Bridges, Artisola 33 6.5
Wegmans Wegmans Organic, Italian Classics Organic 29 5.7
Kroger Simple Truth Organics 26 5.1
Meijer True Goodness by Meijer Organic 18 3.5
Seggiano Seggiano 16 3.1
Target Simply Balanced 14 2.7
Trader Joe's Trader Joe's 14 2.7
H-E-B H-E-B Organics 14 2.7
Lucerne Foods O Organics 12 2.4
Amy's Kitchen Amy's Bowls 10 2.0
Total sample size 510 100.0
Source: Mintel, 2019

New product examples

Classic Radiatori Pasta
Source: Mintel, 2019
Company Kaslo Sourdough Pasta
Brand Kaslo Sourdough Pasta
Category Side dishes/pasta
Country Canada, manufactured in Canada. Not imported and sold in Co-op supermarket in Edmonton, Alberta.
Related claims Organic, no additives/preservatives, low/no/reduced allergen, vegan/no animal ingredients, ethical environmentally, dairy free, probiotic
Launch type New packaging
Date published February 2016
Price in US dollars 5.92
Related ingredient Organic durum and wheat semolina flour, natural sourdough culture

The naturally fermented product is described as the one and only pasta made with a natural sourdough culture. It is also made with the finest Canadian prairie grains and seeds, Italian bronze plates, natural spring water, natural sourdough culture. This pasta features exceptional flavour and superior texture and cooks fast. It is suitable for vegans and is free from nut, dairy, salt, egg, artificial colour, flavour and chemical additives.

Apple & Quinoa Thin Grain Lavash Crackers
Source: Mintel, 2019
Company Ozery Bakery
Brand Ozery Bakery Morning Rounds
Category Bakery bread and bread products
Country Canada. Sold in IGA supermarket in Lachine, Quebec
Related claims No additives/preservatives, Kosher, wholegrain, vegan/no animal ingredients, functional - energy
Launch type Relaunch
Date published May 2016
Price in US dollars 3.39
Related ingredient Organic sour dough made from durum wheat semolina, organic whole grain and unbleached wheat flour

Ozery Bakery Morning Rounds Multi Grain Toastable Grain Buns have been relaunched, being previously available under the Pita Break brand. The wholegrain product is a source of fibre and nutrients, and is free from artificial preservatives, colours, flavours and GMO. It contains complex carbohydrates that are digested slowly and provide energy over a longer period of time. The vegan certified product can be easily toasted, used to prepare a French toast or for snacking.

Organic Alphabet Pasta
Source: Mintel, 2019
Company D'ici Pâtes
Brand

Mini d'ici

Category Side dishes/pasta
Country Manufactured and sold in Canada, not imported. Sold in natural/health food store in Montreal, Quebec
Related claims Kosher, organic, wholegrain, GMO free, vegan/no animal ingredients
Launch type New variety/range
Date published April 2019
Price in US dollars 3.37
Related ingredient Organic durum wheat semolina

This wheat semolina pasta is kosher certified, is suitable for a vegan diet and made with only one ingredient. The GMO-free product retails in a 250 gram (g) pack, featuring the Canada Organic, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Organic and Aliments Préparés au Québec (Food Prepared in Quebec) logos.

Organic Red Beet & Spinach Ravioli
Source: Mintel, 2019
Company Valley Fine Foods
Brand Artisola
Category Side dishes/pasta
Country Manufactured and sold in United States, not imported. Sold in natural/health food store in Northridge, California
Related claims

No additives/preservatives, all natural, organic, GMO free, Ethical – environmentally and sustainable (habitat/resources)

Launch type New packaging
Date published October 2018
Price in US dollars 7.99
Related ingredient Pasta and panko ingredients (organic durum flour and wheat flour)

The product contains 11g of protein per serving and is filled with organic red beets, spinach and gourmet cheeses. The product contains no GMO, preservatives, artificial ingredients, colors or flavors. The perishable product retails in an 8-ounce (oz.) pack. The manufacturer is dedicated to being a steward of the planet by being sustainable in packaging and electricity practices. They aim to create a more harmonious agricultural ecosystem on the planet and use wholesome ingredients that are grown by the sun.

Organic Italian Classics Whole Wheat Farfalle
Source: Mintel, 2019
Company Wegmans Foods
Brand Wegmans Organic Italian Classics
Category Side dishes/pasta
Country United States, sold at Wegmans supermarket in Erie, Pennsylvania. Manufactured in Italy.
Related claims No additives/preservatives, organic, whole grain, low/no/reduced allergen, low/no/reduced lactose
Launch type New variety/range extension
Date published March 2019
Price in US dollars 1.99

Wegmans Organic Italian Classics Whole Wheat Farfalle Pasta is made with organic durum semolina and is bronze cut to hold more sauce. The kosher-certified product is free from lactose, artificial colors, flavors and preservatives, and one cup dry is said to provide two and a half wholegrain servings toward the recommended goal of three per day. It retails in a 16-oz. pack bearing the USDA Organic logo and cooking instructions.

Kalamata Olive Artisan Rolls
Source: Mintel, 2019
Company Wegmans Foods
Brand Wegmans Food You Feel Good About
Category Bakery/bread and bread products
Country United States, sold at Wegmans supermarket in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Related claims No additives/preservatives, organic, whole grain, low/no/reduced allergen, low/no/reduced lactose
Launch type New variety/range extension
Date published April 2014
Price in US dollars 3.99
Ingredients (on pack) Organic wheat flour, organic semolina flour, water, organic kalamata olives, organic durum flour, contains 2% or less of (sea salt, organic rosemary, yeast)

Wegmans Food You Feel Good About Organic Kalamata Olive Artisan Rolls are partially baked rolls suitable for vegans and free of lactose, artificial colours, flavours and preservatives. This heat-and-serve product is said to be ready in 15 minutes and has been kosher and USDA organic certified.

Conclusion

The US leads within the 'organic' durum wheat pasta and noodles market over Canada, in terms of the number of organic product launches since the beginning of 2014 and the number of companies domestically situated in North America. Mindful to the larger population of consumers in the US, the country also leads over Canada in terms of retail value and volume sales of both the regular and organic durum wheat pasta and noodle sector.

Canada does not report separate retail values from within the 'organic' durum wheat bakery and cereals category. Regardless, traditionally the opportunities from within the durum wheat pasta and noodles food category tend to dominate over the bakery category, notably within the development of baked bread products made from 'organic' durum wheat ingredients.

North America domestically manufactures approximately 26.5% of their organic bakery, bread and bread products that contain durum wheat, since the beginning of 2014. However, it appears that 57.7% of 'shelf-stable' or 'dried' pasta products found within the side dishes category are manufactured or transformed from within Italy. Canada does nevertheless, lead in domestically manufacturing its supply of organic 'shelf-stable' or 'dried' pasta products made from durum wheat ingredients.

It should be noted that since 2017, Canada has considerably lowered its exports to Italy. The decline in Canadian durum exports to Italy in 2017 and 2018 can be linked to widespread public campaigns in Italy over the safety of Canadian durum wheat, the introduction of Italy's country-of-origin labelling (COOL) for pasta products in August 2017, and the general anti-trade/protectionist sentiments in Italy.

With the decline in Canada's durum exports to Italy, which was our second largest export destination in 2016 after Algeria, durum wheat exports in 2018 have shifted to markets such as the US (+247%), Morocco (+42%), Nigeria (+449%), and Peru (+18%). These opportunities are also worth exploring.

Definitions

Chilled noodles
"Fresh" noodles (in a similar way to fresh pasta) that are bagged and require chilled/refrigerated storage. Relatively rare in Western countries. Note: pack of non-dried noodles often referred to "straight to wok" noodles or similar are found in the "shelf stable" noodles category
Chilled pasta
"Fresh" pasta (made from a combination of wheat flour, water, and often eggs) that is bagged and stored in chilled shelves/cabinets in retailers
Dried and instant noodles

Includes consumption of instant, plain, and snack noodles. Excludes Pot Noodle-type products (these are included in ready meals)

  1. Instant noodles: All noodles, flavored or unflavored, that are not only dried, but are designed to be cooked and combined with other ingredients to form a meal (that is, packets of dried noodles)
  2. Plain noodles: Non-instant noodles that are made from flour, water, and/or eggs and are cut to different lengths with varying levels of thickness. Plain noodle packs aren't accompanied by other ingredients/flavors to be mixed with noodles. These are usually made of different flour types such as wheat, rice, potato, cornstarch, and bean, etc. Plain noodles are usually soaked in water before cooking.
Dried pasta
All varieties of dried pasta designed to be boiled in water and typically with a long shelf-life, for example Buitoni Eliche and Barilla's Mini Fusilli. Does not include instant noodles
"Shelf stable" pasta
Packs of non-dried pasta that do not require chilling or refrigeration. These are very rare in most countries

Resources

Customized Report Services – Ingredient Focus: Organic durum wheat in North America
Global Analysis Report

Prepared by: Erin-Ann Chauvin, Senior Market Analyst

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (2019).

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