Tortilla Trends

Tortilla sales trail white bread sales by only two percent, making them the second-most-popular bread type in America, even more popular than whole wheat bread, bagels, and rolls. Tortilla sales have doubled to more than $6 billion in the last decade (Tortilla Industry Association).  This is due, in part, to the widespread popularity of Mexican and Southwestern cuisines.

Hispanic food is becoming part of the culinary mainstream. The tortilla, a staple in Mexican households for centuries, has gown increasingly popular with non-Hispanic consumers who have embraced Hispanic foods. Sales of Hispanic convenience foods grew 103 percent from 1999 to 2004. TV dinners, frozen foods, single-serve beverages, and other convenience foods like tortillas represent a fast-growing segment of the $4.3 billion Latino food and beverage market (ProgressiveGrocer.com 11.17.04). Consumers are busier than ever, they demand foods that require little preparation time and their preferences are shifting toward tangier flavors.

Wraps became a dieters’ dream as health-conscious consumers filled them with all sorts of lean meats and vegetables for a healthy meal option. And the low-carb/Atkins craze in 2004 helped redefine the importance of eating whole grain foods. The tortilla category is one of the only carb categories that continue to show growth, while most high-carb categories are declining in sales, according to AC Nielsen. Even Mission Foods sales for their top-selling low-carb tortilla product are higher this year than the same time last year.