SOURCE: Mission Foods - Tortilla Month

August 23, 2007 18:13 ET

Tortillas Quickly Becoming America's Favorite Bread Product

September Celebrates National Tortilla Month

DALLAS, TX--(Marketwire - August 23, 2007) - From white tablecloth restaurants and fast food chains to thousands of America's pantries, tortillas are not just the other white bread. Tortillas are the second most popular bread type, beating out whole wheat bread, bagels and rolls, and only giving way to classic white bread, according to the TIA, a clear indicator that US taste profiles are changing.

Five years ago, the wrap became the sandwich sensation and restaurants expanded their menus by adding recipes that include tortilla wraps. Now, nearly all US fast food chains serve tortillas on their menus and sales of tortillas are booming, doubling in the last decade to over $6 billion [1].

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.

Mission Foods, one of the largest tortilla manufacturers in the United States, produces tortillas around the world. Its wide variety of tortillas includes multi-grain, low-carb and 96% fat-free, and flavored wraps such as sun dried tomato basil, spinach and garlic herb.

Consumers are demanding more portable, versatile meal solutions and are experimenting with the versatility of the tortilla, creating delicious inventive recipes such as tortilla manicotti and quesadilla pizzas or creating quick, easy healthy snacks like tuna wraps or breakfast burritos.

So whether you're on-the-go, in search of portable, quick, healthy tortilla ideas, or a mom who wants to expand her children's back to school lunch and snack ideas, just log onto www.missionmenus.com for some wholesome, simple solutions.

Tortilla Facts:

--  The Tortilla Industry Association (TIA) estimates the retail tortilla
    category is a $2.12 billion market in the US.
--  62 percent of food industry suppliers -- both commercial and non-
    commercial -- reported using tortillas in their operations.[2]
--  The Tortilla Category is projected to grow 5-10% over the next few
    years, according to the TIA.
--  Gruma, the parent company of Mission Foods, revolutionized the
    tortilla-making process by creating Maseca corn flour that allowed for
    convenient mass production of corn tortillas while preserving their
    authentic taste.  And this process is still being used today.
--  All of Mission Foods' 19 US plants are certified as kosher.
--  The word "tortilla" comes from the Spanish word "torta" which means
    round cake.
--  According to Mayan legend, tortillas were invented by a peasant for
    his hungry king in ancient times. The first tortillas, which date
    approximately 10,000 years before Christ, were made of native corn with
    dried kernel.
--  NASA has used flour tortillas on Space shuttle missions since the
    1980s. They use tortillas in the place of bread because of the easy clean-
    up and because the bread crumbs can cause a lot of trouble in space.
    

Nutritional Information:

--  Flour tortillas are a low-fat food and contain iron along with other B
    vitamins. They have about 115 calories with 2 to 3 grams of fat per
    serving.
--  Corn tortillas are a naturally low-fat, low sodium food and contain
    calcium, potassium and fiber. An average serving contains about 60 calories
    and only 1 gram of fat.
    

About Mission Foods

Mission Foods, headquartered in Irving (Dallas area), Texas, and Gruma S.A.B. de C.V., a Mexican corporation, was founded in 1949, and is one of the largest tortilla manufacturers in the United States. Gruma S.A.B. de C.V. is the parent company of Mission Foods (Gruma Corporation) and a leading Mexican producer of corn masa flour and tortilla products. Mission has operations in Mexico, the United States, Central and South America, Europe and Asia. For more information please visit www.missionmenus.com

[1] According to a study done by Dr. Jozef Kokini

[2] According to the Tortilla Foodservice Usage Study commissioned by the Tortilla Industry Association in 2004

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