Gluten-free products on a roll

Feb. 27, 2012

The gluten-free industry is booming, growing 27 percent since 2009 and exceeding $6 billion in 2011, and fueled by an abundance of new products in 2010 and 2011 that bear a gluten-free claim. According to Mintel.

The gluten-free industry is booming, growing 27 percent since 2009 and exceeding $6 billion in 2011, and fueled by an abundance of new products in 2010 and 2011 that bear a gluten-free claim. According to Mintel. Despite an increase in popularity and product development, celiac disease and gluten intolerance could be widely undiagnosed -- just 1 percent of consumers say they've been diagnosed with celiac disease and only 8 percent overall say they are gluten intolerant/sensitive. However, Mintel research suggests that number should be closer to 15 percent.

"The prevailing problem is that many Americans simply may not realize they are gluten intolerant/sensitive, or they may be ignoring signs and symptoms," says David Browne, senior analyst at Mintel. "While food companies may be overdoing it unnecessarily with gluten-free label claims that are appearing on everything from tomato sauce to scallops, the message is getting out and it's likely that many more consumers will engage in the sector, both for foods eaten at home and at restaurants."

According to Kerry Watson, SPINS natural and specialty product expert, "more doctors are testing for these conditions and more people are experimenting with a gluten-free diet. It's our responsibility as an industry to answer the needs of this growing population."

The industry seems to be taking notice. According to Mintel Menu Insights, gluten-free menu items have increased 280 percent from Q3 2008-Q3 2011. Meanwhile, Mintel's Global New Products Database found that product launches with a gluten-free claim nearly tripled in 2011 to roughly 1700 products as compared to 2007.

Alexandra Smith, Mintel's director of consumer trends adds,  "Inspire's Factory Fear trend shows that food scares have pushed ingredients analysis up the agenda. Demand for 'free-from' foods is on the rise as consumers become better educated (and more fearful) about allergies and additives. This has certainly increased awareness of the potential dangers in things like trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, and now gluten, but it may have also contributed to burnout. When we're constantly warned about new food dangers, we eventually tune out."

Sponsored Recommendations

Learn About: Micro Motion™ 4700 Config I/O Coriolis Transmitter

An Advanced Transmitter that Expands Connectivity

Micro Motion™ G-Series Coriolis Flow and Density Meter

Micro Motion G-Series: market-leading compact design featuring advanced process diagnostic capability.

Embracing Sustainability using Advanced Measurement Instrumentation

A practical guide to greeningyour brewing operationsusing advanced measurementinstrumentation.

Get Hands-On Training in Emerson's Interactive Plant Environment

Enhance the training experience and increase retention by training hands-on in Emerson's Interactive Plant Environment. Build skills here so you have them where and when it matters...