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Gluten-Free Foods and Beverages in the U.S., 3rd Edition


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

“Are you gluten-free?” The term describes more than the sector of the food and beverage industry that has morphed from specialty niche to mainstream sensation in just a few years. “Gluten-free” has become an identity for the tens of millions of Americans who have reduced or eliminated their consumption of wheat, barley, rye, and oats. Indeed, consumer demand has driven the extraordinary surge in the market for gluten-free foods and beverages. Many people are gluten-free out of necessity, because they suffer from celiac disease or a food allergy. But a growing number are gluten-free by choice, as evidence emerges that this diet may treat medical conditions ranging from autism in children to rheumatoid arthritis in adults. Others find that living gluten-free simply makes them feel better. Packaged Facts’ own online survey conducted expressly for the report Gluten-free Foods and Beverages in the U.S. reveals the number-one motivation for buying gluten-free food products is that they are considered healthier than their conventional counterparts.

Specialty marketers like Glutino, Pamela’s Products, and Kinnikinnick Foods have exploded onto the mainstream scene, and health-oriented companies such as Bob’s Red Mill and Amy’s Kitchen have demonstrated a commitment to producing reliably gluten-free foods. Due to their growing retail presence, as well as to continual improvements in gluten-free products overall, Packaged Facts estimates the U.S. market for gluten-free foods and beverages at $2.6 billion in 2010, for a compound annual growth rate of 30% over the 2006-2010 period.

Increasing diagnoses of celiac disease and food allergies; growing awareness of these ailments among patients, healthcare practitioners, and the general public; more products, and better ones; and a trend that has friends and family members eating gluten-free to support loved ones are among the factors stimulating continuing expansion in this market. While growth rates will slow over the next five years, Packaged Facts projects that U.S. sales of gluten-free foods and beverages will exceed $5 billion by 2015.

Report Methodology

The analysis in Gluten-free Foods and Beverages in the U.S., 3rd Edition is based on primary and secondary research. Primary research entailed in-depth, on-site examinations of retail outlets, including Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s, and grocery store chains; as well as interviews with marketers, retailers, food industry trade associations, celiac advocacy groups, and federal agencies. Our analysis of shopping trends and consumer preferences is derived from Packaged Facts’ proprietary consumer survey, which is based on a national online poll conducted in Fall 2010, and from data prepared expressly for this report by industry experts.

Secondary research entailed data gathering from relevant sources, including consumer and industry publications, newspapers, company literature, and corporate annual reports. Government sources included the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration. The National Institutes of Health was the source of many statistics regarding celiac disease and food allergies; the State Department provided information for the Global Outlook chapter. We also referred to Packaged Facts’ own publications for insights into related markets, such as in-store bakeries.

What You’ll Get in This Report

In Gluten-free Foods and Beverages in the U.S., Packaged Facts not only analyzes the U.S. market in detail, but also provides valuable insights and recommendations regarding emerging consumer trends, the products gluten- and allergy-sensitive consumers seek, and how companies can participate in this market on a global scale. No other market research report provides both the comprehensive analysis and extensive data that Gluten-free Foods and Beverages in the U.S., offers. Easy-to-read and practical charts, tables, graphs, and illustrations make this report exceptionally user-friendly.

This report will help:

  • Marketing managers identify market opportunities and develop targeted promotion plans for gluten-free foods and beverages.
  • Research and development professionals stay on top of competitor initiatives and explore demand for gluten-free foods and beverages.
  • Advertising agencies working with clients in the banking and retail industries understand the product buyer to develop messages and images that compel consumers to buy gluten-free foods and beverages.
  • Business development executives understand the dynamics of the market and identify possible partnerships.
  • Information and research center librarians provide market researchers, brand and product managers and other colleagues with the vital information they need to do their jobs more effectively.


Market Insights: A Selection From The Report


2010 Finishes Off With $2.64 Billion in Retail Sales, Ahead of Projections

Packaged Facts previously projected that sales of gluten-free foods and beverages would reach $2.3 billion by 2011, but current estimates put the market at $2.64 billion in 2010, for a
compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30% over the 2006-2010 period. [Table 1-1]

Mainstreaming: The Next Generation

Once considered part of the dietary fringe, GF foods have been embraced by a wide variety of consumers, accepted as healthy food items by those whose diets are not restricted, and
generally considered of higher quality than their conventional versions, much as kosher foods are. Mainstream marketers taking the GF plunge, chain stores have become the preferred
retail channel, and there has been surge in the sales and number of dedicated GF products carried by the supermarkets and mass merchandisers tracked by SymphonyIRI. As one
marketer interviewed by Packaged Facts put it, gluten-free is becoming “just a regular grocery item.”

Indeed, with large supermarkets and mass retailers recognizing the viability and evident longevity of the GF market, the share of the market held by health and natural food stores has
been halved in just two years, from 30% to 16%.

Half of Gluten-free Consumers Shop at Walmart

Packaged Facts conducted a national online poll in Fall 2010 to examine consumers’attitudes, behaviors, and preferences regarding gluten-free food products. The sample
consisted of 1,881 U.S. adults (age 18+) balanced to census data on measures of age, gender,geographic, region, ethnicity and income, of whom 15% reported buying or consuming food
products flagged “gluten-free” within the past 30 days.

These findings provide further evidence of a shift toward mass channels. Just under half of GF shoppers said they buy their products at Walmart, followed closely by supermarket
chains, cited by 44%. [Figure 6-3]

In the News

Gluten-Free Foods and Beverages Become Mainstream Sensations as Part of a Healthy Lifestyle Choice

New York, February 2, 2011 —Once regarded as a niche product that was only of interest to people who couldn’t tolerate wheat, gluten-free foods and beverages have quickly transformed into a mainstream sensation, embraced by consumers both out of necessity and as a personal choice toward achieving a healthier way to live, according to Gluten-Free Foods and Beverages in the U.S., 3rd Edition by market research publisher Packaged Facts.

"People with celiac disease have been the natural drivers of the gluten free market," says Don Montuori, publisher of Packaged Facts. "However, there is evidence suggested that eliminating gluten from the diet may relieve autism in children and adult rheumatoid arthritis. Add to that the healthy ‘aura’ some consumers have attached to gluten-free products, and you create a demand for these foods and beverages that mainstream food manufacturers and retailers are increasingly happy to satisfy."

According to the report, in 2010, the U.S. gluten-free foods and beverages market reached an estimated $2.6 billion in retail sales. The market enjoyed a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30% over the 2006-2010 period. Packaged Facts predicts that growth will continue over the next five years, as the market approaches $6 billion in 2015.

General Mills’ transformation of its popular Rice Chex cereal into a gluten-free product without changing the taste-molasses was substituted for barely-based sweetener-stands as a milestone indicator of the breadth of impact gluten-free products are having on mainstream consciousness. As of November 2010, General Mills— which has acquired the Larabar brand of gluten free nutrition bars—claims to offer 250 gluten-free products, including five varieties of Chex and numerous products under the venerable Betty Crocker and Bisquick brands.

Another striking indication of the mainstreaming trend is the notable shift in the retail distribution of gluten-free products from specialty stores to chains. The surge in the sales and number of dedicated gluten-free products carried by the supermarkets and mass merchandisers demonstrates that gluten-free is becoming, as one marketer interviewed by Packaged Facts in the report states, "just a regular grocery item."

Gluten-Free Foods and Beverages in the U.S., 3rd Edition analyzes the U.S. market in detail, and provides valuable insights and recommendations regarding emerging consumer trends, the products gluten- and allergy-sensitive consumers seek, and how companies can participate in this market on a global scale. No other market research report provides both the comprehensive analysis and extensive data offered in this industry study. Easy-to-read and practical charts, tables, graphs, and illustrations make this report exceptionally user-friendly.

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Additional Materials


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  • Executive Summary
    • The Products
      • Toward a More Inclusive Definition of Gluten
      • What Part of "Gluten-free" Don't Regulators Understand?
      • Replacing Gluten, the Tie That Binds
    • Medical Conditions Relating to Gluten and the Consumer
      • Celiac Disease Damages the Small Intestine, Disrupts Nutrient Absorption
      • "The Great Masquerader" Is Staggeringly Under-diagnosed
      • Rates of Celiac Disease, Food Allergy Are Escalating
    • The Market
      • Packaged Facts Refines Its Definition of "Gluten-free"
      • How We Derived Our Sales Figures
      • 2010 Finishes Off With $2.64 Billion in Retail Sales, Ahead of Projections
        • Table Estimated U.S. Retail Sales of Gluten-free Foods and Beverages, 2006-2010 (in millions of dollars)
      • Food Bars the Leading GF Category at FDM, Also Boast Highest Year-to-Year Sales Gain
      • Small Categories Show Large Gains
      • Incidence, Awareness Snowball: "Everyone Knows Someone" Who Lives Gluten-free
      • Mainstreaming: The Next Generation
      • More Products, and Better Ones, Promise Continued Growth
      • GF Products Pricey But Recession Resistant
      • Is Gluten-free the New Low-carb?
      • Sales are Projected to Approach $5.5 Billion by 2015
        • Table Projected U.S. Retail Sales of Gluten-free Foods and Beverages, 2010-2015 (in billions of dollars)
    • The Marketers
      • Several Types of Marketers, Several Approaches to Gluten-free
      • Retail Leadership Is Extremely Fragmented - Many Marketers "Own" Their Categories
        • Table Leading U.S. Specialty/Health/Natural Food Marketers of Gluten-free Foods at Food/Drug/Mass, by Category, 2010
      • GF Marketers Cater to Consumers With Other Food Sensitivities
      • Going Gluten-free Made Easy
      • Community Outreach Is the Most Powerful Means of Promotion
    • The Marketplace
      • Half of Gluten-free Consumers Shop at Walmart
      • Breads, Cereals, Grains the Most Frequently Purchased GF Food Products
      • Foodservice: The Final Frontier
    • Product Trends and Opportunities
      • Product Quality and Packaging: Free For All
      • Non-allergenic Foods for Kids a Huge and Growing Opportunity
      • GF Foods Get (And Need) a Nutritional Boost
    • Consumer Trends
      • 15% of Consumers Buy Gluten-free Food Products
      • Conviction That GF Foods Are Healthier Drives Usage
      • What GF Consumers Crave Above All (Hint: Bread)
      • Four Gluten-free Consumer Segments
    • Global Spotlight
      • North America and Europe Continue to Dominate Global Market
        • Table Top Ten Gluten-free Food Markets by Number of Product Introductions, 2010 (Stock-keeping Units and Share of World Total)
      • New European Gluten-Free Labeling Standards Take Effect in 2012
      • GF Marketing Concentrated in Affluent Countries
      • Non-western Nations, Developing Economies Have Much to Gain From Gluten-free
      • Cultivation of GF Crops Supports Economic Development
  • The Products
    • Key Points
    • What Is Gluten?
      • Toward a More Inclusive Definition
        • Table Wheat, Barley, Rye, and Oat Proteins Harmful to Celiacs
      • Hiding in Plain Sight
    • Several Methods Exist for Determining Gluten Content in Foods
      • Table Benefits and Drawbacks of Principal Methods of Gluten Detection
    • What Part of "Gluten-free" Don't Regulators Understand?
    • GF Advocacy Groups Establish Credentialing Programs
      • Celiac Sprue Association Recognition Seal
        • Table Comparison of "Gluten-Free" Labeling Requirements: Codex Alimentarius, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and Celiac Sprue Association
      • Gluten Free Certification Organization
      • National Foundation for Celiac Awareness
    • Participants in the GF Market Face Various Challenges
      • Replacing Gluten, the Tie That Binds
      • Contamination: You Reap What You Sow
      • "Free" Doesn't Come Cheap
    • Gluten-free: Low-carb, a Weight-loss Tool, Generally Healthier?
      • Table Carbohydrate Content of Selected Bob's Red Mill Products (in grams)
    • Product Categories Represented in the Gluten-free Foods and Beverages Market
    • Sources for Gluten-Free Flour, an International Guide
  • Medical Conditions Relating to Gluten and the Consumer
    • Key Points
    • Celiac Disease Damages the Small Intestine, Disrupts Nutrient Absorption
      • Table How Gluten Ingestion Damages the Small Intestine of a Celiac Patient
    • Symptoms Run the Gamut: Digestive Dysfunction to Mood Disorders to Infertility…
      • Table Selected Symptoms and Consequences of Untreated Celiac Disease
      • …but Celiac Disease Can Also Be Asymptomatic
    • "The Great Masquerader" Is Staggeringly Under-diagnosed
      • Blood Tests, Biopsies, and Screening Are Primary Diagnostic Methods
    • As Many as 1% of Americans May Have CD
      • Incidence of CD Doubles Every 15 Years: "A Significant Public Health Issue"
    • Is a Culture of Clean Culpable?
    • Emerging Drug Treatments and Vaccines for CD
      • Table Selected Non-dietary Interventions for Celiac Disease in Clinical Trials
    • CD Research Could Have Implications for Other Autoimmune Disorders
    • Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome Resemble Those of Celiac Disease
    • Autism Diets Eliminate Casein as Well as Gluten
    • Food Allergies Affect 5% of Children and 4% of Adults
  • The Market
    • Key Points
    • Market Definition
    • How Packaged Facts Derived Its Sales Figures
    • Awareness, Mainstreaming the Leading Market Forces from 2006 to 2010
    • 2010 Finishes Off With $2.64 Billion in Retail Sales, Ahead of Projections
      • Table Estimated U.S. Retail Sales of Gluten-free Foods and Beverages, 2006-2010 (in millions of dollars)
    • Food Bars the Leading GF Category at FDM, Also Boast Highest Year-to-Year Sales Gain
      • Table U.S. Mass-Market Sales of Gluten-free Foods and Beverages: Shares by Product Category, 2010 (percent)
    • Smallest Categories Show Large Gains
    • Retail Distribution Shifts Dramatically Toward Mainstream Channels
      • Table U.S. Share of Sales of Gluten-Free Foods and Beverages, by Retail Channel, 2010 (percent)
    • Factors Promoting Future Market Growth
      • Incidence of Celiac Disease and Other Food Disorders Is Growing
      • Awareness Snowballs: "Everyone Knows Someone" Who Lives Gluten-free
      • Mainstreaming: The Next Generation
      • Activists and Advocacy Groups Agitate
      • Let Food Be Your Medicine
      • More Products, and Better Ones, Promise Continued Growth
      • Free to Be… Gluten-free (Or Not)
      • Nearly One-Third of Gluten-free Consumers Buy GF for Other Reasons
      • Recession? What Recession?
    • Potential Impediments to Market Growth
      • GF Products Pricey…
      • …But Are They Overpriced?
      • It Isn't Easy Being Free
      • Fad or Fixture?
      • Is Gluten-free the New Low-carb?
      • Sales are Projected to Approach $5.5 Billion by 2015
        • Table Projected U.S. Retail Sales of Gluten-free Foods and Beverages, 2010-2015 (in billions of dollars)
  • The Marketers
    • Key Points
    • Overview of Marketers
      • Four Basic Types
      • Specialty Marketers
      • Health Food/Natural Food Marketers
      • Supermarket Store Brands
      • Mega-marketers
    • Three Basic Approaches
      • Dedicated
      • Committed
      • Accommodating
    • Methodology for Determining Market Share
    • Retail Leadership Is Extremely Fragmented - Many Marketers "Own" Their Categories
      • Table Leading U.S. Specialty/Health/Natural Food Marketers of Gluten-free Foods at Food/Drug/Mass, by Category, 2010
      • Food Bars
      • Cold Cereal
      • Fresh Bread and Rolls
      • Pasta and Noodles
      • Frozen Dinners and Entrees
      • Cookies
      • Crackers
      • Baking Mixes
      • Salty Snacks
      • Frozen Bread and Dough
      • Shelf-stable Dinners
      • Frozen Pizza
      • Baking Needs
    • Marketing Trends and Opportunities
      • Marketing in the Spirit of the Law - When There Is No Law
      • GF Marketers Also Cater to Consumers With Other Food Sensitivities
      • Going Gluten-free Made Easy
      • Ask For Us By Name
      • Community Outreach Is the Most Powerful Means of Promotion
    • Competitor Profiles
      • Amy's Kitchen, Inc. (Petaluma, CA)
      • Andre Prost, Inc. (Old Saybrook, CT)
      • Barbara's Bakery (Petaluma, CA)
      • Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods, Inc. (Milwaukie, OR)
      • Ener-G Foods, Inc. (Seattle, WA)
      • Enjoy Life Natural Brands, LLC (Schiller Park, IL)
      • General Mills, Inc. (Minneapolis, MN)
      • Glutino Food Group (Laval, Quebec, Canada)
      • Kinnikinnick Foods, Inc. (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)
      • Pamela's Products (Ukiah, CA)
      • The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (Melville, NY)
  • The Marketplace
    • Key Points
    • Different Types of Retail Channels
      • Conventional Channels
      • Gluten-Free Specialty Stores
      • E-stores Make Distribution Easy as Gluten-free Pie
    • Distribution Shifts From Specialty Stores to Supermarket Chains
      • Table U.S. Share of Sales of Gluten-Free Foods and Beverages, by Retail Channel, 2008 (percent)
      • Table U.S. Share of Sales of Gluten-Free Foods and Beverages, by Retail Channel, 2010 (percent)
    • Half of Gluten-free Consumers Shop at Walmart
    • Breads, Cereals, Grains the Most Frequently Purchased GF Food Products
    • Range of GF Food Products Has Increased, But May Not Motivate Shoppers
    • At In-store Bakeries, GF is Selling Like Hotcakes
    • Gluten-free at Walmart: An Insider's Perspective
    • Foodservice: The Final Frontier
      • American Culinary Federation Chefs Pronounce GF a Hot Trend
        • Table Selected Rankings From National Restaurant Association's "Chef Survey: What's Hot in 2010" (share)
    • Canadian Chef Survey Names GF a Top 10 Menu Trend
    • National Foundation for Celiac Awareness Trains Restaurants in GF Food Prep
      • Who is the Gluten-free Restaurant Patron?
      • Two Steps Forward, One Step Back
      • GF Diners "Thrilled" by Safe Menu Options
      • GF Is No Menu Fad
      • Gluten-free Showcase Pavilion Debuts at Restaurant Show
    • GF Consumers Dine Out on Restaurant Directories
    • Emerging Opportunities for Gluten-free in Foodservice
  • Product Trends and Opportunities
    • Key Points
    • U.S. Gluten-free Product Launches Grow to Nearly 2,700 in 2010
      • Table Number of U.S. Gluten-free Food and Beverage Introductions, 2006-2010 (Stock-keeping Units)
    • GF Food Bars a Leader in Product Introductions, As in Sales
      • Table Number of U.S. Gluten-free Food and Beverage Introductions, 2010, by Category (Stock-keeping Units)
    • Wegmans is Far and Away the New GF Product Leader - Again
      • Table Number of U.S. Gluten-free Food and Beverage Introductions, 2010, Selected Companies (Stock-keeping Units)
    • Bora Bora Is a Leading "Dedicated" GF Marketer
    • Product Development and Opportunities
      • Packaging: Strive for Transparency, Familiarity
      • Free For All
      • Non-allergenic Foods for Kids a Huge and Growing Opportunity
      • Introductions of GF Baby Snacks More Than Triple in Two Years
      • HappyBaby a GF Pioneer
        • Table Selected New Gluten-free Product Introductions for Kids
      • GF Foods Get (And Need) a Nutritional Boost
      • Hain Celestial Group's Dedicated GF Lines Are Specially Formulated to Address Nutritional Imbalances
      • Ancient Grains: Everything Old Is New Again
        • Table Examples of Products Containing Gluten-free Ancient Grains
      • Researchers Seek the "Holy Grail" of GF Breads
      • Therapies As Close As Your Grocer's Shelf
      • What About Prebiotics?
  • Consumer Trends
    • Key Points
    • Methodology
    • 15% of Consumers Buy Gluten-free Food Products
    • Conviction That GF Foods Are Healthier Drives Usage
    • GF Foods Considered Higher Quality
    • Many Shop GF to Treat a Health Condition
    • Grain-based Foods #1 on GF Shopping List
    • Half of GF Shoppers Head to Walmart
    • Many GF Shoppers See Improvements in Variety and Quality
    • Most GF Consumers Are Buying More GF
    • One in 10 GF Shoppers Want What's Not There
    • What GF Consumers Crave Above All (Hint: Bread)
    • GF Not Perceived as a Gimmick or Fad
    • Four Gluten-free Consumer Segments
  • Global Spotlight
    • Key Points
    • Food Allergies a Growing Problem Around the World
    • North America and Europe Continue to Dominate Global Market
      • Table Top Ten Gluten-free Food Markets by Number of Product Introductions, 2005-2010 (Stock-keeping Units and Share of World Total)
    • North American National Spotlight: Canada
      • Proximity and Trade Relationship Mean Canada and U.S. Share Many Gluten-free Marketers
        • Table Top 10 Gluten-free Product Introductions in Canada by Category and Marketer, 2010 (Stock-keeping Units)
      • GF Advocacy in Canada More Evolved Than in U.S.
      • Health Canada Considers Revising GF Labeling Regulation to Allow Oats; Marketers Balk
      • CCA Trademarks Standard for "Pure Uncontaminated Oats"
      • U.S. Now the Primary Market for Canadian GF Pioneer Glutino
      • Kinnikinnick Foods a Leading Producer of GF Baked Goods
    • New European Gluten-Free Labeling Standards Take Effect in 2012
    • European National Spotlight: Spain
      • A Strong and Growing GF Force
        • Table Top 10 Gluten-free Product Introductions in Spain by Category and Marketer, 2010 (Stock-keeping Units)
      • Meat Processors, Retailers Tops in Product Launches
      • Asociación de Celiacos de Madrid Advises Travelers on Eating Gluten-free in Spain
        • Table Typical Gluten-free Spanish Cuisine
    • European National Spotlight: United Kingdom
      • A Robust and Growing Gluten-free Market
      • Supermarkets Put Their Money on Private-label GF
        • Table Top 10 Gluten-free Product Introductions in United Kingdom by Category and Marketer, 2010 (Stock-keeping Units)
      • Coeliac UK Vigorously Promotes the GF Market
      • Survey: One-quarter of Celiacs Wait 11-plus Years for Diagnosis
    • In UK, Gluten-free Foods Are Prescribed, Subsidized
      • Table UK Prescription Gluten-free Food Manufacturers
      • Genius Bread Delivers a Brilliant Performance
      • Snapshot: Gluten-free Product Launches in Italy, Germany, and France
        • Table Top 10 Gluten-free Product Introductions in Italy by Category and Marketer, 2010 (Stock-keeping Units)
        • Table Top 10 Gluten-free Product Introductions in Germany by Category and Marketer, 2010 (Stock-keeping Units)
        • Table Top 10 Gluten-free Product Introductions in France by Category and Marketer, 2010 (Stock-keeping Units)
    • Oceana Spotlight: Australia and New Zealand
      • New Zealand Company Tops GF Product Intros in Australia
        • Table Top 10 Gluten-free Product Introductions in Australia by Category and Marketer, 2010 (Stock-keeping Units)
      • Coeliac Society of Australia Endorses Products; New Zealand Poised To Do So
        • Table Manufacturers Endorsed by Coeliac Society of Australia
      • Gluten-free Regulation is a Two-tiered Affair
      • But Advocates Say Standards Are Too Rigid
    • Snapshot: Other Regions
      • GF Marketing Concentrated in Affluent Countries
      • Non-western Nations, Developing Economies Have Much to Gain From Gluten-free
      • Snapshot: Asia
      • Researchers Recommend Active Investigation of CD in China
      • Snapshot: Middle East
      • New Israeli Labeling Regulations Will Advance Domestic Market
      • Cultivation of GF Crops Supports Economic Development
  • Appendix
    • Marketers
      • Table Marketers
    • Organizations - U.S.
    • Organizations - Outside U.S.

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