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NZers’ Issued With Challenge To Get Grainwise

New Zealanders’ Issued With Challenge To Get Grainwise

New research shows that most New Zealanders have extremely poor intakes of wholegrain foods and that the importance of eating them daily is not well-understood.

The research found that only 4% of those surveyed ate six servings of wholegrain breads and cereals each day. The Ministry of Health’s daily recommended intake of all breads and cereals is six or more, with advice that as many of these servings as possible should be wholegrain.

The study, undertaken by Celsius Research* also showed that there is a significant lack of understanding that wholegrain foods are particularly important for growing children.

To combat the problem, Molenberg has launched Grainwise with the support of the New Zealand Nutrition Foundation. This new initiative aims to make New Zealanders wiser about the sources and benefits of wholegrain foods in a bid to boost daily intake.

Grainwise is being officially unveiled by well-known Australian nutritionist and dietitian Catherine Saxelby, who has long been an advocate for whole grains, at a symposium for health and nutrition educators tonight.

Catherine says, “Modern eating trends mean that whole grains aren’t eaten as much as they used to be. More than 60% of New Zealanders don’t understand what whole grains are and the research shows us that even less actually eat them. What people don’t realise is that these foods are an essential part of healthy eating and they offer many important health benefits. Considering the significant benefits of whole grains it is particularly important for parents to encourage their children to enjoy these foods from an early age.”

“Whole grains have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes and some types of cancer. Eating wholegrain based foods is also an important way to control weight, as they help people to feel fuller for longer, discouraging overeating.”

According to the research, 31% of adults eat two serves of wholegrain breads and cereals (cereals include rice, pasta, breakfast cereal, wheat) each day, with only 4% eating six wholegrain daily servings. This data is supported by similar findings from the 1997 National Nutrition Survey which found only one in five adults ate the recommended amount of all breads and cereals.

Catherine says an initiative like Grainwise makes it easier for people to understand how to boost their intake of whole grains by incorporating them into their busy lifestyles.

“The Grainwise logo, website and brochures are a great start to focus people on getting Grainwise, and I hope people do something about it today – especially young people who the research shows are very low consumers of whole grains.”

New Zealand Nutrition Foundation CEO, Sue Pollard says the initiative has come at a time when New Zealanders are more interested in health and nutrition than ever before.

“As the research shows, New Zealanders’ want to be healthy and live long lives and Grainwise is giving them some useful tools to help achieve that. It’s commonly accepted that eating more than five serves of fruit and vegetables is a good idea, now it’s time for whole grains to be promoted and become part of people’s everyday eating.”

With bread a staple of the kiwi diet, choosing a wholegrain variety can make a significant contribution to the average diet. Light wholegrain, which is still soft and fluffy, is considered a good ‘transition’ bread as people move from white to whole grain bread.

Quality Bakers Marketing Director Scott Wright says getting New Zealanders’ Grainwise is in line with a trend that has been occurring over the last two years in consumer purchase habits, but one that is accelerating.

“In January 2004 the split between white and non-white bread purchased was 56% vs 44%. At the same time in 2005 it had changed to 52% vs 48%, and today non-white outsells white in terms of volume by 8% (54% non-white vs 46% white). This is significant when you consider that as recently as February 2005 the split was 50/50.”

The Grainwise logo will appear on 12 million Molenberg packs per year, starting on November 7th where it will first be seen on new Grains Plus – a Molenberg loaf with 20% more grains than Molenberg Original.

Visit for more information and to view Grainwise brochures aimed at getting men, women and kids to eat more whole grains every day.


*Research conducted by independent research company, Celsius Research. ‘New Zealanders’ Views on Health Nutrition and Grains’ telephone survey undertaken for Quality Bakers NZ Ltd in September 2005, n=400 households nationwide.

**ACNielsen current MAT to 9th October 2005

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