The recent rise of “riced” vegetables has led to criticism amongst food connoisseurs. Betsy Ward, the president of USA Rice, has boldly declared that “Only rice is rice, and calling ‘riced vegetables,’ ‘rice,’ is confusing and misleading to consumers.” One of the most well-known of these controversial food products is cauliflower rice, the result of pulsing in a food processor. Although cauliflower rice soaks up sauces and spices like classic rice, plenty of seasoning is necessary to enrich the dull flavor. One cup of cauliflower contains two grams of net carbohydrates; on the other hand, white rice includes 51 grams of carbs and brown rice 42 grams.
Healthy Alternatives Reflected in Other Food Sectors
Just as the term milk has broadened to include non-dairy based products, such as almond and soy milk, rice has followed suit and done the same. Although the new cauliflower product is not the consumer’s first pick, it appeals to people looking for healthy food options.
Similarly, the pasta business has seen its share of the growth of alternative pasta products, with squash and zucchini pasta becoming a more attractive alternative to starchy, traditional pasta. People are ready to grab and utilize the vegetables they already have at home, threatening industries that incorporate and sell carbohydrate-rich food products.
The dairy industry’s unsuccessful attempts to eliminate competition such as the nut, soy, and other non-dairy based milk drinks is an affair that could potentially be seen in the rice business. If the rice industry raises this concern to the FDA, however, they might be able to avoid this. The definitions of terms such as “milk” and “healthy” have long been in limbo, and some are unsure whether or not the current presidential administration will provide a traditional definition, finally putting an end to the conflict between conventional and unconventional, alternative food and beverage manufacturers.
Wise Marketing Strategies Will Help the Rice Industry
Despite the growing popularity of non-traditional rice products, there are ways for the industry to weaken the acclaim for cauliflower rice. Ripple, a plant-based milk brand, has introduced a game that educates consumers on the advantages of milk in comparison to traditional dairy milk. Rice businesses could use similar strategies to teach users on the rewards of eating regular rice. Through purposeful advertisement and other marketing strategies, the rice industry could certainly achieve this goal.
It is still unclear to all, whether or not cauliflower rice will be above its traditional counterpart. A possibility remains that cauliflower rice may not achieve the same success as alternative dairy products in the dairy industry. In the end, regardless of how successful or trendy cauliflower rice may become in the future, the rice industry should remain on their toes and ready to face more competition.
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