Discover new Fonio Super-Grain!

Discover new Fonio Super-Grain!

We are delighted to introduce Fonio Super-Grain, our new (and ancient) West African superfood.

Delicious, naturally gluten-free and low GI, fonio can be cooked in just 3 minutes and is a sustainable, nutritious alternative to rice, couscous or quinoa. But more than that, it provides life-changing income to women farmers in the African Sahel and restores degraded soils. Truly a "Food of the Future" as heralded by WWF.

Described as the “new quinoa” by The Times and foodies around the world, it is set to be one of the hottest health foods of the decade and we are proud to be the first to introduce it to the UK.

So What is Fonio?

Fonio has been grown in West Africa for 5,000 years and is thought to be one of Africa’s oldest cereals. It is mostly cultivated in West Africa in the arid Sahel region.

The smallest in the millet family, fonio grains are just 1mm big, similar to a grain of sand. Fonio is also known as “Digitaria Exilis”, “acha” or “hungry rice” (although this is often misunderstood in English – it is not because people are hungry that it has this name, it is because it is so delicious, it makes you hungry!) Due to its small size, it is relatively difficult to process which is why it has been unavailable outside of Africa… until now.

Fonio is literally the stuff of legend. The Dogon people of Mali believe the entire universe was born out of a single fonio grain; which is why it’s called ‘The Seed of the Universe’. And the ancient Egyptians used to give it to the dead to keep them nourished in the afterlife.

Fonio Grain bowl and pouch

Fonio Taste & How to Use

Fonio is prized for its light, nutty flavour and fluffy couscous-like texture. In fact, it is so tasty, it was voted the “most popular ancient grain” in the US.¹

Fonio is well known for its versatility. It cooks in just three minutes and is so easy to use that a popular saying in Africa is “fonio never embarrasses the cook”. Fonio has a delicious light nutty flavour and fluffy couscous like texture.

It is a great alternative to rice, quinoa, couscous or polenta. Try it in stir-fries, stews, soups, vegan burgers, stuffed peppers, casseroles, salads, tabbouleh, buddah bowls or as a side dish. It can be used to replace any grain in any dish and also makes a delicious, creamy porridge.

View the cooking instructions and check out our fonio recipes.

Fonio Health Benefits

Fonio is a highly nutritious Super-Grain that is packed with benefits. Aduna Fonio is 100% natural, organic and vegan. It is:

  • Naturally gluten-free - Crossed Grain certified, it is suitable for coeliacs and those with gluten intolerance
  • Low GI
  • Rich in iron and amino acids, often lacking in today’s cereals
  • Source of zinc, vitamin B1 & B3 and phosphorus

Read more about the health benefits of fonio here.

A Food of the Future

Fonio was named a future food of the world by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF)i in its 2019 “Future 50 Food” report.

The report found that globally, we rely on a very small range of foods. In fact, 75% of the global food supply comes from just 12 crops and five animal species. And despite the fact that there are more than 20,000 edible plants, we rely on just three – wheat, rice and maize - for 60% of our calories, negatively impacting our health and the health of the planet.

Protecting food diversity is vital if we are to feed a global population estimated to be 10 billion people by 2050 without further damaging the planet. Fonio was named as one of 50 nutritious foods we should all be eating more of to promote a more diverse, sustainable global food system.

Knorr - Future 50 Foods

Fonio Social & Environmental Impact

Fonio is fast-growing, (some varieties produce grain just 6-8 weeks after planting), drought-resistant and tolerant of poor soil conditions. This means it can grow where little else succeeds, providing a valuable source of income to small-scale farmers. It is a regenerative crop so it helps to restore degraded soils and reverse the effects of climate change.

Fonio has a crucial role to play in supporting food security and income generation for rural communities in West Africa. Aduna Fonio is grown by 320 women smallholders in Tiebe, Southern Mali, one of the poorest, driest regions on the planet. These women have over 1,000 dependents whose basic needs are now taken care of thanks to the new incomes generated by fonio.

Fonio Producers in Mali

To avoid the “quinoa effect” where demand from overseas effectively outstripped supply, pricing local consumers out of the market, Aduna and its partners are committed to only buying 80% of fonio produced by the communities it works with, leaving 20% for local consumption.

Where to buy Fonio

Aduna Fonio Super-Grain is available from Whole Foods Market, Planet Organic, Ocado, Amazon and

Our Fonio comes in 250g pouches and 1kg pouches which are resealable and recyclable under code 4 in the UK (accepted by some kerb side recycling programmes or you can recycle with your carrier bags at larger supermarkets).

Be one of the first to try it and let us know what you think by tagging us on social (@adunaworld).

If you are a retailer or interested in buying Aduna Fonio in bulk, please contact us at for more information.

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