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Gluten-Free Foods and Beverages in the U.S., 4th Edition


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

The market for gluten-free foods and beverages has continued to grow even faster than anticipated, reaching $4.2 billion in 2012, for a compound annual growth rate of  28% over the 2008-2012 period.  Within this diverse market, snack/granola bars are the leading category, at 15% of mass-market sales. 

An August 2012 consumer survey by Packaged Facts shows that 18% of adults are buying or consuming foods products tagged as gluten-free, up from 15% in October 2010.  Moreover, the share of gluten-free consumers who are buying more of these foods has skyrocketed, and the share of total shoppers who are buying more gluten-free foods has doubled.  The conviction that gluten-free products are generally healthier is the top motivation for consumers of these products.

Increasing diagnoses of celiac disease and food allergies; growing awareness of these ailments among patients, healthcare practitioners, and the general public; the availability of more products, and better ones, across a range of product categories; 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 moderate over the next five years in the wake of market expansion, Packaged Facts projects that U.S. sales of gluten-free foods and beverages will exceed $6.6 billion by 2017.

Report Methodology

The analysis in Gluten-free Foods and Beverages in the U.S., 4th 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 August 2012.  Secondary research entailed data gathering from relevant sources, including trade and consumer publications, company literature and annual reports, and government sources.

What You’ll Get in This Report

In Gluten-free Foods and Beverages in the U.S., 4th Edition, 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., 4th Edition, offers. Easy-to-read and practical charts, tables, graphs, and illustrations make this report very 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.


  • Executive Summary
    • Definition and Methodology
    • The Products
      • What Is Gluten?
      • Producing GF Foods Is a Challenge
      • Celiac Disease Is an Abnormal Immune Reaction to Gluten
    • The Market
      • Share of Consumers Buying GF Foods Edges Up to 18%
      • 2012 Sales Projected to Exceed $4 Billion
        • Table U.S. Retail Sales of Gluten-Free Foods and Beverages, 2008-2012 (in millions of dollars)
      • Snack Bars the Leading GF Category
      • Overwhelming Majority of GF Consumers Report Increased Usage
      • More Than One-Third Consider GF Healthier
      • Positive View of Products, Awareness, Availability Are Leading Drivers
      • Sales Are Projected to Exceed $6.5 Billion in 2017
        • Table Projected U.S. Retail Sales of Gluten-Free Foods and Beverages, 2012-2017 (in billions of dollars)
    • The Marketers
      • Leading Marketers
        • Table Leading Specialty/Health/Natural Food Marketers of Gluten-Free Foods in the U.S. Mass Market: By Product Segment, 2010 vs. 2012 (percent)
      • "Word of Mouth Is Almost Everything" and Brand Loyalty Is Strong
      • The New Normal
    • The Marketplace
      • Walmart and Supermarket Chains Account for 80% of GF Sales
        • Table Gluten-Free Food Products: Top Consumer Retail Channel Preferences, August 2012 (percent)
      • Global GF Product Introductions Growing by 50% a Year
      • North America and Europe Account for Over 80% of Introductions
      • Crackers, Salty Snacks Lead in U.S. Product Introductions
        • Table U.S. Gluten-Free Product Introductions by Top Categories, 2011-2012 (Percent Share of Product Announcements)
      • "I'll Have What She's Having"
    • The Consumer
      • Choice, Not Necessity, Drives Usage
      • What Do GF Consumers Want?
  • Defining "Gluten-Free"
    • Key Points
    • What Is Gluten?
    • Producing Gluten-Free Foods Acceptable to Consumers Isn't Easy
    • There May Be Gluten in Gluten-Free Cereal
      • Table Cereal Species and Storage Proteins Avoided on Gluten-Free Diets
    • Gluten May Lurk in Licorice, Lip Balm, Lickable Labels
    • FDA Labeling Standards Are Imminent
    • Celiac Disease Is an Abnormal Immune Reaction to Gluten
    • Symptoms Can Be Severe … or Silent
      • Table Selected Symptoms and Consequences of Untreated Celiac Disease
    • 1.4 Million American Celiacs Are Undiagnosed
    • "A Significant Public Health Issue"
    • As Many as 18 Million Americans Suffer From Gluten Sensitivity
    • Food Allergies May Affect 8% of U.S. Children
    • Packaged Facts' Definition of Gluten-Free Foods and Beverages
  • The Market
    • Key Points
    • Definition and Methodology
    • 2012 Sales Projected to Exceed $4 Billion
      • Table U.S. Retail Sales of Gluten-Free Foods and Beverages, 2008-2012 (in millions of dollars)
    • Snack Bars Remain the Leading GF Category in Mass Market
      • Table U.S. Sales of Gluten-Free Foods and Beverages: Mass-Market Shares by Product Category, 2012 (percent)
    • Sales of Frozen and Fresh Bread Products More Than Double
    • Consumer Survey Reveals Strong Trends … and Contradictions
    • Overwhelming Majority of GF Consumers Report Increased Usage
      • Table Gluten-Free Food Products: Usage Rates, 2010 vs. 2012 (percent)
      • Table Gluten-Free Food Consumers: Changing Usage Rates, 2010 vs. 2012 (percent agreeing)
    • Healthfulness, Weight Management, Carb Control Leading Drivers
    • A Growing Share of Gluten-Free Consumers Buy GF for Other Reasons
    • Mainstreaming Remains a Powerful Force
    • Economic Factors to Temper Growth
      • Table Changes in Food Price Indexes, 2010-2013
      • Table Gluten-Free Food Products: Overall Consumers' Perceptions and Opinions, 2010 vs. 2012 (percent agreeing)
      • Table Cost of Selected Gluten-Free vs. Conventional Food Products by Category, 2012 (price per ounce)
    • Most Celiacs Won't Cheat on Diet at Any Price
    • Sales Are Projected to Exceed $6.5 Billion in 2017
      • Table Projected U.S. Retail Sales of Gluten-Free Foods and Beverages, 2012-2017 (in billions of dollars)
  • Marketers and Marketing
    • Key Points
    • Methodology: How Packaged Facts Classifies Marketers
    • Four Basic Types
      • Specialty Marketers
      • Health Food/Natural Food Marketers
      • Private Label
      • Mega-Marketers
    • Three Basic Approaches
      • Dedicated
      • Committed
      • Accommodating
    • Methodology: How Packaged Facts Derives Marketer Shares
    • Leadership Among GF Specialty Companies Remains Fragmented
      • Table Leading U.S. Specialty/Health/Natural Food Marketers of Gluten-Free Foods: By Mass-Market Product Segment, 2010 vs. 2012 (percent)
    • Snack/Granola Bars
    • Fresh Bread and Rolls
    • Soup
    • Frozen Dinners and Entrees
    • Pasta and Noodles
    • Crackers
    • Cookies
    • Frozen Bread and Dough
    • Cold Cereal
    • Salty Snacks
    • Baking Mixes
    • Selected Competitor Profiles
      • Smart Balance (Paramus, NJ)
      • Philosophy, Innovations, and Initiatives
    • Small Planet Foods (Minneapolis, MN)
      • Leadership Categories
      • Philosophy, Innovations, and Initiatives
    • Rudi's Gluten Free Bakery (Boulder, CO)
      • Leadership Categories
      • Philosophy, Innovations, and Initiatives
    • Food Directions Inc. (Scarborough, Ontario, Canada)
      • Leadership Categories
      • Philosophy, Innovations, and Initiatives
    • Pamela's Products (Ukiah, CA)
      • Leadership Categories
      • Philosophy, Innovations, and Initiatives
    • Lundberg Family Farms (Richvale, CA)
      • Leadership Categories
      • Philosophy, Innovations, and Initiatives
    • Dr. Schar USA, Inc. (Burgstall, Italy)
      • Leadership Categories
      • Philosophy, Innovations, and Initiatives
    • Nature's Path Organic Foods (Richmond, BC Canada)
      • Leadership Categories
      • Philosophy, Innovations, and Initiatives
    • Marketing Trends and Opportunities
      • "Word of Mouth Is Almost Everything" and Brand Loyalty Is Strong
      • The New Normal
  • The Marketplace
    • Key Points
    • Introduction and Methodology
    • Walmart and Supermarket Chains Account for 80% of GF Sales
      • Table Share of U.S. Sales of Gluten-Free Foods and Beverages by Retail Channel, 2008, 2010, and 2012 (percent)
      • Table Gluten-Free Food Products: Consumer Retail Channel Preferences, 2010 vs. 2012 (percent)
      • Table Consumer Retail Channel Preferences: Gluten-Free Shoppers vs. All Shoppers, 2012 (percent)
    • More Than Half of GF Consumers Buy Bread/Cereal/Grain Products
      • Table Gluten-Free Food Products: Types Purchased in the Past Three Months, 2010 vs. 2012 (percent)
    • GF Product Selection, Availability Are Good, But Not Great
      • Table Gluten-Free Food Consumers: Opinions and Shopping Behaviors, 2010 vs. 2012 (percent agreeing)
      • Table Gluten-Free Food Consumers: Satisfaction With Product Selection and Availability, 2010 vs. 2012 (percent)
    • Retailers Stock Shelves With Gluten-Free Store Brands
    • From Fast Food to Fine Dining, Foodservice Invests in Gluten-Free
    • GF Menu Claims Soar by 40%, Deemed a "Hot Trend"
      • Table Selected Rankings From National Restaurant Association's "Chef Survey: What's Hot in 2010" (share)
    • Restaurant Chefs' Lack of GF Knowledge Is "Alarming" and "Shocking"
    • Converting to GF Can Be Costly, Complicated, and Confusing…
    • But Also Worthwhile
    • Gluten-Free Scores Points at Sports Arenas
  • Product Trends and Opportunities
    • Key Points
    • Product Trends: Introductions
      • Note on Product Introduction Analysis
      • Global GF Product Introductions Growing by 50% a Year
      • North America and Europe Account for Over 80% of Introductions
        • Table Gluten-Free Product Introductions by Region, 2011-2012 (Percent Share of World Total)
      • Crackers, Salty Snacks Lead in U.S. Product Introductions
        • Table U.S. Gluten-Free Product Introductions by Category, 2011-2012 (Percent Share of Product Announcements)
        • Table U.S. Gluten-Free Product Introductions by Category, 2011-2012 (Percent Share of Individual Products)
      • Specialty Marketers Account for Over Half of New Products in U.S.
      • GF-Only Marketers Account for Majority of Baked Goods Introductions
        • Table Leaders in Gluten-Free Product Introductions by Selected Categories and Type of Marketer, 2011-2012 (Number of Individual Products)
      • GF-Only Marketers Focus on Grain-Based Foods
        • Table Dedicated Marketers' Gluten-Free Product Introductions by Category, 2011-2012 (Percent Share of Product Announcements)
        • Table Dedicated Marketers' Gluten-Free Product Introductions by Category, 2011-2012 (Percent Share of Individual Products)
      • Cereal, Shelf-Stable Meals Lead Introductions by Committed Marketers
        • Table Committed Marketers' Gluten-Free Product Introductions by Category, 2011-2012 (Percent Share of Product Announcements)
        • Table Committed Marketers' Gluten-Free Product Introductions by Category, 2011-2012 (Percent Share of Individual Products)
      • Over One-Fourth of Introductions from Accommodating Marketers Are Beverages
        • Table Accommodating Marketers' Gluten-Free Product Introductions by Category, 2011-2012 (Percent Share of Product Announcements)
        • Table Accommodating Marketers' Gluten-Free Product Introductions by Category, 2011-2012 (Percent Share of Individual Products)
    • Product Trends: Features
      • Note on Product Trend Analysis
      • "I'll Have What She's Having"
      • Flavors Even a Foodie Could Love
        • Table Selected New Gluten-Free Products: Flavor Innovations
      • Instant Gratification: Gluten-Free Convenience
        • Table Selected New Gluten-Free Products: Convenience Foods
      • Good, And Good For You!
      • Blast From the Past: Ancient Grains Deliver Flavor, Variety, Nutrition
        • Table Selected New Gluten-Free Products: Ancient Grains
        • Table Nutritional Value of Amaranth vs. Other Grains (Value per 100 Grams)
      • Your One and Only
        • Table Selected New Gluten-Free Products: Trailblazers
      • Products Sport Punchier Packaging
  • Consumer Opinions and Behaviors
    • Key Points
    • Methodology
    • The Gluten-Free Consumer
    • Share of Consumers Buying GF Foods Inches Up to 18%
    • The Overwhelming Majority of GF Consumers Are Buying More
    • Choice, Not Necessity, Drives Usage
    • More Than One-Third Consider GF Healthier
    • Over One-Quarter Use GF Products for Weight Management
    • One in Five GF Consumers Equate Gluten-Free With Low-Carb
    • Nearly One in Five Say GF Means Higher Quality
    • 15%+ of GF Consumers Are Compelled by Prevention or Treatment
    • About Four in 10 Are Incidental GF Consumers
      • Table Gluten-Free Food Consumers: Opinions and Shopping Behaviors, 2010 vs. 2012 (percent agreeing)
    • Weight Management Motivates Women, Quality Motivates Men
      • Table Gluten-Free Food Products: Motivations for Purchase/Use: Male vs. Female, August 2012 (percent agreeing)
    • GF Consumers Revise Their 2010 Shopping Lists
    • A Majority of GF Consumers Purchase Grain-Based Foods
    • Purchase Rate of Prepared Foods Drops
    • Purchasing Patterns by Gender
      • Table Gluten-Free Food Products: Types Purchased in the Past Three Months, Male vs. Female, August 2012 (percent)
    • Walmart, Supermarket Chains Preferred Retail Destinations for GF
    • What Do GF Consumers Want?
    • While Product Quality Has Improved, Cravings Linger
    • Shoppers Balk at Premium Price Points
    • GF Product Mix Exhibits More Variety - But Not Enough
    • GF Consumers Want What All Consumers Want
      • Table Five Steps From Diagnosis to Determination
    • The Consumer of Targeted Health and Wellness Foods
      • Note on Packaged Facts Survey Data
      • 3 in 4 Shoppers at Least Occasionally Buy Targeted Health and Wellness Foods
      • Two-Thirds Buy Groceries Explicitly Marketed as THW Products
      • Shoppers Under 30 Are Heaviest Consumers of Allergy-Friendly Foods
        • Table Selected Demographic Indicators for Purchase of Targeted Health/Wellness Foods, by Health Concern, 2011 (percent of users and index of U.S. grocery shoppers)
      • Boomers Comprise a Larger Customer Base
        • Table Selected Demographic Indicators for Use of Targeted Health and Wellness Foods, by Type of Grocery Product, 2011 (percent of U.S. grocery shoppers)
      • Condition-Specific Grocery Shoppers Are Exceptionally Health Conscious
        • Table Psychographics Regarding Health and Wellness Goals, by Health Concern, 2011 (percent and index of U.S. grocery shoppers)
      • IFIC Investigates Consumer Concerns About Food Allergens
      • 14% Take Allergens Into Account When Making Purchase Decisions
      • 11% Try to Avoid Allergens
      • Concern About Undeclared Allergens Influences Purchase Decisions for 25% of Consumers
  • Gluten-Free Flour Sources

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