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Carbs reimagined text next to static sandwich image, looping video of fresh bread being torn open

Carbs in a New Light

September 14, 2022

When it comes to carbohydrates, it's the quality — not quantity — that matters most. 

With consumers taking a more holistic approach to their healthy dining habits, carbs are experiencing a resurgence in popularity. Consumers around the world have given carbs a second chance as comfort food came back into favor during the height of the pandemic. 
In foodservice, experimentation has given rise to artisan breads and pastas made in-house. A vegan, refined-sugar-free bakery in UAE creates almond flour pastries and breads full of ancient grains and seeds, including millet, teff, sorghum, flax and amaranth. Traditional culinary techniques have been modernized in Hong Kong, where a small shop bakes up crispy fermented soybean sesame biscuits. And a plant-based café in Spain serves twists on traditional recipes, such as a buckwheat risotto with pumpkin cream and roasted eggplant, and raw veggie noodles topped with tomato-cashew cream sauce and spiced almonds.
The carb resurgence intertwines with the rise in plant-based proteins. Ancient grains, sprouted grains, legumes and pulses help boost protein content across both traditional wheat and gluten-free products. Brands are also incorporating vegetables into formulations to boost health credentials and wholesome cues and communicate functional benefits such as immunity and digestive health.1 The incorporation of functional terms and nutritional callouts into menu descriptions will encourage trial and combat previous notions that carbs are an enemy.
Looking to fuel innovation across menus and product categories? Consider clean label, unrefined and “whole food” carbs.




Advances in sugar reduction technology will encourage wholesome menu innovation with minimal compromise to taste.

The plethora of health benefits found within whole grains will allow operators to share health claims such as gut health, sustained energy and immunity.

On-trend ancient grains and seeds will be incorporated into carb-heavy menu offerings, such as pre-made pizza dough and pasta, to add wholesomeness and health credentials.


Whole Almonds and Ground Almond Flour


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Operators are shining the spotlight on fermentation, creating sourdough breads that have fermented for 48 hours or using fermented butter in biscuits. They’re also utilizing ancient grains to provide healthier, higher quality baked goods.

A fresh take on carbohydrates is becoming more prominent within non-commercial dining as foodservice directors continue to address the needs of gluten-free, plant-based and health-conscious diners.

Whether to provide variety to weekly routines or incorporate wholesome elements, processors are offering a wide variety of carbs within dishes, snacks, and smoothies including chickpeas, bulgur and flax seeds.

Clear Jars containing different grain sources



Ingredients like legumes, pulses and ancient grains give chefs and product developers the chance to approach carbs from a fresh perspective. Join Chef Jonny Tomlin as he creates a unique Ethiopian Sweet Potato Tempura with Toasted Salt and Berbere Dip, using teff flour as the foundation for a light and airy batter.



“Explore the world of flours beyond traditional wheat-based white flour. For example, cassava flour or chickpea flour can deliver unique flavor while serving as gluten-free options with high protein content.”

–Chef Mark Serice, Vice President Global Culinary, Griffith Foods* 

Casava plant with ground cassava in bowl

Nutritional Spotlight: Carbohydrates

Along with fats and proteins, carbohydrates are one of three macronutrients found in our diets. They represent a significant proportion of the foods we consume and serve as a primary source of energy. But unlike their fellow macronutrients, carbohydrates are made of glucose, the preferred energy source for the brain and muscles. While carbohydrates are found in many forms and foods, the key is to focus on whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes that offer a variety of carbohydrate structures along with other beneficial nutrients. With these foods as the primary sources of carbohydrates, we receive not just energy but nutrient-dense options that support gut health, heart health, immune function and more. Upcycled, imperfect and sustainably produced carbohydrate sources are becoming increasingly available within the category as well, helping bring awareness not just to personal health but to the health of our planet.

Jackie Schultz, MS, RDN, Director of Global Nutrition, Griffith Foods

Jackie Schulz, MS, RDN,
Director of Global Nutrition, Griffith Foods

Whole Bananas pictured next ground banana powder and fresh-cut banana slices


culinary inspiration

Get inspired by these on-trend concepts to create innovative offerings using Griffith Foods products. 

Ethiopian Sweet Potato Tempura with Toasted Salt and Berbere Dip

Ethiopian Sweet Potato Tempura with Toasted Salt and Berbere Dip

Sweet potato slices dredged in teff-based tempura batter inspired by injera, the signature spongy fermented flatbread of Ethiopian cuisine. Deep-fried until crisp and served with a smoky toasted salt and berbere spice dip.

Featuring: Griffith Foods Injera Teff Tempura Batter, Griffith Foods Toasted Salt, Griffith Foods Berbere Rub


Crispy Salmon Skin Chicharrones

An extruded snack made from dried salmon skins puréed with green banana powder and water. Deep-fried until puffed and perfectly crispy, dusted with green chile and tomatillo salsa verde seasoning and a splash of lime for bright and bold flavor.

Featuring: NuBana™ Green Banana Powder Extruded Snack Blend, Griffith Foods Salsa Verde Snack Seasoning   

Crispy Salmon Skin Chicharrones

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© 2022 Griffith Foods. All rights reserved.
*Custom Culinary® is part of the Griffith Foods family of companies.

Mintel Consulting, 2022 FlavorIQ® Global Trends and Insights Report, January 2022