“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.
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.
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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]
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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