During the ABA Board of Directors Meeting at the American Bakers Association (ABA) 2017 Convention, the ABA Board approved an additional $600,000 on top of its existing investment to the Grain Foods Foundation. This funding will further support GFF’s original research initiatives and GFF’s mission to showcase the health benefits of grains and bread in the American diet.

“GFF is the vehicle to propel needed research to help tell our story,” said ABA president & CEO Robb MacKie. “As an industry, we’re constantly looking for ways to quantify the economic bang for the consumer dollar. GFF’s work that found grains provide essential nutrients and that those who consume grains have better overall diet quality, far exceeded our expectations. We look forward to supporting them as they continue their research efforts.”

At the ABA Board meeting, GFF provided members with an update on ongoing programming and research initiatives. Two of the research projects highlighted were:

  • What’s Between the Bread?: With 49 percent of Americans consuming sandwiches, should consumers be concerned about the calories from the bread or is it the fixings (meats, cheeses, condiments) in between the slices? With bread as part of a healthy eating pattern that provides essential nutrients, this work will examine health outcomes when components are eliminated or added into sandwiches.
  • Are Grains Beneficial During Pregnancy?: The USDA Birth-24-month project is underway and will tie into the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020 development process. This study aims to fill considerable research gaps on nutritional contributions of food groups, specifically grain foods, for women during pregnancy.

Following an extremely successful IBIE 2016, the ABA Board decided to invest additional funds into GFF to strengthen the industry. ABA’s Board agreed to increase support to GFF by $600,000 over the next three years, including its general fund support. ABA also issued a friendly challenge to the baking industry to match its increased general fund contributions to GFF.

“Bakers continue to feel the pressure of evolving consumer tastes and static wheat flour production, showcasing that the need for GFF is as great now as at its inception,” said MacKie. “Knowing what GFF can do, knowing the Foundation’s strong leadership, and knowing that GFF’s budget is incredibly limited, ABA is increasing its annual investment and we urge all our partner organizations to join us.”