Product focus: Gluten-Free Foods

Is gluten-free a fad? To see retailers and foodservice chains tell it, the GF-movement isn't going anywhere.

Gluten Free Foods Reasons for ConsumingThe gluten-free market is cementing its staying power as more than a mere dietary fad, with mainstream retail brands and popular foodservice chains increasing their gluten-free offerings. According to "Gluten-Free Foods in the U.S., 5th Edition," from Packaged Facts, retail sales of gluten-free foods posted an impressive compound annual growth rate of 34 percent over the five-year period ended in 2014, when market sales reached $973 million.

Further, Packaged Facts’ July/August 2014 survey data reveals that more than a third of consumers claim gluten-free/wheat-free is an important factor when they are shopping for food. In addition, a quarter of survey respondents had purchased or used food products labeled gluten-free in the three months prior to the survey.

Retailers have embraced the gluten-free trend by stocking more gluten-free items... [and] courting the gluten-free consumer with a variety of festivals and events.

– David Sprinkle, research director, Packaged Facts

Looking ahead, the gluten-free market’s momentum isn’t expected to wane anytime soon. Packaged Facts projects sales will exceed $2 billion in 2019.

According to the "NMI Gluten Free 2015" report from Natural Marketing Institute, the primary reasons for starting to use gluten-free foods and beverages are a general desire to improve health, feel better and lose weight. In fact, only 6 percent of consumers surveyed indicate the reason as having celiac disease. Interestingly, accidental purchase is a relatively common reason for initiating use of gluten-free products.

Popular Gluten Free Options

Going Against the Grain

Trying to keep up with the demand for premium gluten-free products, Against The Grain Gourmet introduced the first nationally available Lebanese-style Gluten-free Pita Bread. The bread is made with light buckwheat flour, a gluten-free flour with a fine texture and neutral flavor. It is also nutritionally dense, as it is high in complex carbohydrates, potassium, phosphorous, iron, calcium, protein and fiber, with twice the amount of B vitamins as wheat flour. The bread is lightly leavened with yeast and is ideal for wrapping, stuffing, topping, grilling and baking into both sweet and savory creations. >> Learn more about the product

Angies Boom Chicka PuffsPops Get Puffed

Angie’s BoomChickaPop, makers of one of the nation’s fastest growing brands of natural popcorn, is making its way to another aisle in the grocery store with a new member of the family: Angie’s BoomChickaPuff. Made with simple ingredients like the ancient grains quinoa and sorghum and non-GMO corn, the new gluten-free puffs come in three flavors. Both Sweet Barbecue and Sweet & Salty are Non-GMO Project verified. The latter was almost named “waffle puffs,” as its flavor profile resembles this breakfast favorite. The third variety -- White Cheddar -- is made with real cheese. >> Learn more about the product

Allergy-Friendly Foods are Hot, Hot, Hot

Elevation Brands, parent company of the allergy-friendly, gluten-free brand Ian’s, introduces Sriracha Fire Sticks, which are made with antibiotic-free white meat cage-free chicken, gluten-free whole-grain breading and tangy, fiery sriracha sauce. Other new additions include Herb Crusted Fish Filet and Artisan-cut Italian Croutons. The Ian’s brand has been around since 2001 and believes that families with food allergies deserve to live a carefree, worry-free lifestyle. Most Ian’s products are free of wheat, gluten, milk, casein, soy, egg, peanuts and tree nuts. Unlike other brands, Ian’s provides center-of-the-plate meal options in addition to snacks, breakfast items, desserts and breadcrumbs. >> Learn more about the product

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