Winter Fancy Food Show 2016

Modern Oats’ new products aim to tap demand for naturally-sourced ingredients

The new Modern Oats flavors include Vermont Maple and Coconut Almond

Manufacturer Modern Oats is hoping to revive the “sleepy and commodity-driven” oatmeal market by expanding its instant pots range with four new flavors.

Unveiled at the Winter Fancy Foods Show in San Francisco last week, the new line-up comprises Vermont Maple, Coconut Almond, Five Berry with No Sugar Added and Plain Oats. All are non-GMO and gluten-free.

“We want to keep relevant to today’s consumers by featuring modern products in the ‘grab-and-go’ space with the driver of better ingredients and a better-for-you concept,” Modern Oats president and co-founder Rich Principale told BakeryandSnacks.

While the oatmeal category could be seen as "boring, sleepy and commodity driven in general", it had the potential to become much more interesting, he said.

More modern approach 

“You have a low price point when you add artificial flavor in oatmeal products,” he said. “Our products are a little bit more expensive [than the average] but we hope to change the perception of old-fashion oats and make them more modern.”

The company said it was favoring ingredients over flavorings with the new products.

“The Coconut Almond-flavored oatmeal has large shreds of Filipino coconut and California almond," said Principale, adding that the pure maple syrup in its Vermont Maple oatmeal was sourced from a small farm in Vermont.

'Oats are not a commodity'

Modern Oats was doing things larger companies could not, said Principale, because it would not be sustainable for a larger business.

“Oats to us are not a commodity, they are like coffee beans," he added. "There are different grades of coffee beans and you pay for what you get. We simply try to create better products within our space.”

Modern Oats products are currently sold nationwide in a range of venues including hotels, airports and coffee bars.

“We’re a boutique producer, and we’re building a nice market segment for ourselves," said Principale. He added that the company was developing its export business, and currently has a small presence in several countries across Asia and Central America.

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