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Gluten-Free Foods in the U.S., 5th Edition


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Gluten-free Foods in the US, 5th Edition

Most marketers can only dream of selling a product that sports a 34% compound annual growth rate over the past five years. But those are the sales of gluten-free products in traditionally grain-based categories, which enjoyed that explosive growth in the five year period that ended in 2014.

Trends & Opportunities in the Gluten-Free Foods Market

Packaged Facts’ report Gluten-free Foods in the US, 5th Edition examines the developments behind the rapid growth in the gluten-free market, as well as the trends that could signal tougher times ahead for this market.

Clearly gluten-free products have benefited from greater awareness of celiac disease and gluten intolerance among consumers, along with a general belief by many that gluten-free diets benefit one’s overall health and well being. The FDA has given the industry favorable rulings on the definition of “gluten free.” Still, there may be some backsliding as not all consumers receive the benefits they thought they’d achieve by becoming gluten-free. 

Despite the increase in demand, the leadership arena for gluten-free foods is still largely populated by specialty marketers, the vast majority of which compete in the Salty Snacks category. The diversified, multi-national conglomerates that otherwise dominate the food industry at large have only a limited presence in the gluten-free market, although that presence is clearly on the rise.

Scope and Methodology

Gluten-free Foods in the US, 5th Edition covers gluten-free food products sold through all types of retail outlets, including supermarkets, discount stores and supercenters, warehouse clubs, and mass merchandisers, as well as convenience stores, drugstores, health and natural food stores, dollar stores, farms and farmers markets.

As in its previous editions, Packaged Facts follows two main criteria for determining if a product falls within its market definition: whether the product could possibly contain gluten; and whether a product is clearly labeled and marketed as gluten-free.

The Gluten-Free Foods Market by Category:

Packaged Facts’ analysis of gluten-free foods focuses on traditionally grain-based products in the following categories:
  • Salty Snacks
  • Crackers
  • Pasta
  • Bread
  • Cold (ready-to-eat) Cereal
  • Cookies
  • Baking Mixes
  • Frozen Bread/Dough
  • Flour
Gluten-free market estimates are based on public, syndicated, and proprietary data sources. Packaged Facts has analyzed available sales and trend data to estimate the total size of the market.

Sales and market size data sources include:
  • A proprietary Packaged Facts national online consumer survey conducted in July/August 2014
  • IRI sales tracking through U.S. supermarkets and grocery stores, drugstores, and mass merchandisers (including Target, Kmart, and Wal-Mart) with annual sales of $2 million or more
  • Simmons National Consumer Survey from Experian Marketing Services
Information on new product introductions was derived from examination of the retail milieu and from relevant trade, business, and media sources.


  • Executive Summary
    • Report Scope
    • Research Methodology
    • Packaged Facts' Definition of Gluten-Free Foods
    • The Products
    • What Is Gluten, and Why Avoid It?
    • Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity
    • The Market
      • Sales of $1,028 million for 2014
        • Table U.S. Retail Sales of Gluten-free Foods in Key Categories, 2010-2014
      • Package Facts Forecasts a $2.5 Billion Market by 2019
        • Table Projected U.S. Retail Sales of Gluten-free Foods in Key Categories, 2014-2019
    • The Marketers
      • An Extremely Fragmented Market
    • The Marketplace
      • The Gluten-free Shopper
        • Table Top Motivations for Purchase/Use of Gluten-free Foods, 2014 (percent of adults consuming gluten-free foods in the past three months)
      • Retailers Embrace Gluten-free
      • Gluten-free Advances in Foodservice
        • Table Top Overall Trends from National Restaurant Association's What's Hot Culinary Forecast 2014 (percent of chefs)
    • Product and Ingredient Trends and Innovations
      • Not Just Gluten-free
      • Ancient Grains, Beans, and Kale Step Up
    • The Consumer
      • Several Demographic Groups Favor Gluten-free Products
  • The Products: What Is Gluten, and Why Avoid It?
    • Key Points
      • Sources of Gluten Are Few, But Everywhere
      • For Celiacs, Gluten Consumption Can Be Deadly
      • Dietary Modification Is Currently Only Treatment for Celiac Disease
      • Food Allergies on the Rise
      • Food Allergy or Food Intolerance?
  • The Market: Sales, Trends, Opportunities
    • Key Points
      • Scope of Market
      • Total Sales in Key Categories Top $1 Billion in 2014
        • Table U.S. Retail Sales of Gluten-free Foods in Key Categories, 2010-2014
      • IRI-tracked Sales of Gluten-free Foods in Key Categories Jump 20%
      • Double-digit Growth in All Categories
        • Table IRI-Tracked Sales of Gluten-Free Foods, Overall and by Category, 2013-2014
      • Salty Snacks Are the Dominant Category
        • Table Category Shares of IRI-Tracked Sales of Gluten-Free Foods, 2013-2014 (percent of total sales)
      • Salty Snacks Account for Nearly Two-thirds of IRI-Tracked GF Sales
        • Table IRI-Tracked Sales of Gluten-Free Salty Snacks, 2014 (percent share by segment)
      • Crackers Make Up Nearly 16% of Gluten-free Sales
      • Pasta Represents 7% of Gluten-free Sales
      • Bread's Share of GF Sales Tops 6%
        • Table IRI-Tracked Sales of Gluten-Free Bread, 2014 (percent share by segment)
      • Cold Cereal's Share of GF Sales
      • Cookies Comprise 3%-4% of Gluten-free MULO Sales
      • Baking Mixes, Frozen Bread/Dough, and Flour Combine for 3% of GF Sales
        • Table IRI-Tracked Sales of Gluten-Free Baking Mixes, 2014 (percent share by segment)
    • Market Forecast
      • Package Facts Forecasts 19%-20% Annual Growth Through 2019
        • Table Projected U.S. Retail Sales of Gluten-free Foods in Key Categories, 2014-2019
    • Key Factors Influencing Future Growth of GF Foods
      • 20% Consider Gluten Content When Making Purchase Decisions
      • Purchasing Rates for GF Foods
        • Table Usage Rates for Gluten-free Food Products, 2014 (percent of U.S. adults)
      • 40% of Gluten-free Consumers Are Buying More GF Foods
        • Table Increased Usage of Gluten-free Foods, 2010, 2012, and 2014 (percent of GF consumers)
      • Core Consumer Base Is Expanding
        • Table Projected Increases in Selected Demographic Classifications, 2015-2020 (number and percent change)
      • One Fourth of Consumers Want to Learn More About GF Foods
        • Table Level of Agreement with Statement: "I am interested in learning more about gluten-free foods," July/August 2014 (percent of U.S. adults)
      • Health Concerns, Outside Influences - and Some Misconceptions - Drive Usage
        • Table Motivations for Purchase/Use of Gluten-free Foods, 2014 (percent of GF food consumers)
        • Table Opinions on Quality and Variety of Gluten-free Foods, 2014 (percent of GF food consumers)
      • Word-of-mouth Is a Powerful Persuader
      • FDA's Gluten-free Labeling Rules Are Implemented
  • Marketers and Marketing: Sales, Shares, Strategies
    • Key Points
    • Market and Category Leadership
      • Sales of Gluten-free Foods Dominated by Specialty Marketers
      • Overall Sales Leader Accounts for Just 13% of Market
        • Table Marketer Shares of Gluten-free Foods by IRI-Tracked Sales, 2014 (percent)
      • Boulder Brands Gains in GF with Purchase of Two Brands
      • Hain Celestial Group and Gluten-free
      • Category Leadership Is Highly Concentrated
    • Salty Snacks
      • Table Brand Shares of Gluten-free Salty Snacks by IRI-Tracked Sales, 2014 (percent)
      • Mission Foods Dominates With a Single Brand in a Single Segment
      • Pirate Brands Captures Second Place in Salty Snacks
      • Popcorn, Indiana Innovates Its Way to Number Three in Salty Snacks
      • Food Should Taste Good Boosts General Mills' GF Cred
    • Crackers
      • Table Brand Shares of Gluten-free Crackers by IRI-Tracked Sales, 2014 (percent)
      • Blue Diamond Leads Cracker Category
      • Crunchmaster A Close Second
      • Mary's Gone Crackers Profits With Mindful Eating
    • Pasta
      • Table Brand Shares of Gluten-free Pasta by IRI-Tracked Sales, 2014 (percent)
      • Tinkyáda Maintains Lead in Gluten-free Pasta
      • Ancient Harvest Is "Famous for Getting Creative With Quinoa"
    • Bread
      • Table Brand Shares of Gluten-free Bread by IRI-Tracked Sales, 2014 (percent)
    • Cold Cereal
      • Table Brand Shares of Gluten-free Cold Cereal by IRI-Tracked Sales, 2014 (percent)
      • Nature's Path Cuts a Wide Swath in the Cereal Category
    • Cookies
      • Table Brand Shares of Gluten-free Cookies by IRI-Tracked Sales, 2014
    • Baking Mixes
      • Table Brand Shares of Gluten-free Baking Mixes by IRI-Tracked Sales, 2014 (percent)
      • Pamela's Products Develops a Recipe for Success
    • Frozen Bread/Dough
      • Table Brand Shares of Gluten-free Frozen Bread/Dough by IRI-Tracked Sales, 2014 (percent)
    • Flour
      • Table Brand Shares of Gluten-free Flour by IRI-Tracked Sales, 2014 (percent)
    • Industry Structure Benefits Specialty Marketers
      • A Fragmented Industry
      • Opportunity for Smaller Marketers
    • Marketing Trends
      • Lean and Hungry, Smaller Marketers Blaze Trails
      • Investment in Research, Development, and Testing
      • Clean Labeling Prevails
      • Limited Edition: Hurry, While Supplies Last!
      • Just Like the Real Thing
  • The Marketplace: Retail and Foodservice
    • Key Points
      • Introduction
      • Most Shoppers Are Mindful of Nutrition, Ingredients
      • Consumers Trust Food Industry to Provide Ingredient Information
      • Both "High In" and "Free From" Are Strong Influences
      • Gluten-free Important to Over One-third of Consumers
      • Consumers Want Marketers and Grocers to Do More
      • 10% of Those Monitoring Their Diets Have Food Intolerances
        • Table Level of Agreement with Statement: "I am currently watching what I eat through diet plans or dieting strategies," 2014 (percent of adults)
      • Food Restrictions Figure in Dietary Choices for 1/4th of Consumers
      • One Fourth of Gluten-free Consumers Believe GF Is Healthier
        • Table Usage Rates for Gluten-free Food Products, 2014 (percent of adults)
        • Table Motivations for Purchase/Use of Gluten-free Foods, 2014 (percent of adults consuming gluten-free foods in the past three months)
      • More Than Half of Gluten-free Consumers Buy Salty Snacks
      • Gluten-free Consumers Pleased With Product Range, Not Prices
      • Quality of Gluten-free Foods Increases, But Still Room for Improvement
      • Gluten-free Shoppers Favor Natural Foods Chains
        • Table Grocery Channels Shopped by Consumers Who Buy Gluten-free Foods When Watching Diet (percent and index)
    • Gluten-free in the Retail Environment
      • Supermarkets Are All Aboard Gluten-free Bandwagon
      • In-store Events Are Widespread and Popular
      • Private Label Gluten-free Lines Flourish in the Mainstream
      • More Shelf Space, New Channels Expected for Gluten-free
    • Gluten-free in the Foodservice Environment
      • Food Allergies in the Schools Difficult to Manage
      • Gluten-free on the Menu: Prevalence and Influence
      • Restaurant Penetration of Gluten-free Skyrockets to 15%
      • Most Foodservice Operators Plan to Incorporate GF Menu Items
      • Adding Gluten-free Could Offset Fast Food's "Junky" Reputation
      • Between 15% and 20% of Gluten-free Consumers Choose GF Menu Items
      • Influence of Healthy Menu Options on Food Ordering Decisions
      • Calories, Fat the Most Effective Diet-related Messages for Fast Food Customers
      • Inherent Health Messaging Most Influential for Special-Occasion Dining
      • Gluten-Free Cuisine Is Number-Two Culinary Theme for 2014
        • Table Top Overall Trends From National Restaurant Association's What's Hot Culinary Forecast 2014 (percent of chefs)
        • Table Top Category Trends From National Restaurant Association's What's Hot Culinary Forecast 2014 (by category, trend, and rank)
        • Table Projections for Hottest Menu Trends in 10 Years (percent of chefs)
      • From Haute Cuisine to Fast Food, Gluten-free Is Going Places
  • Products and Ingredients: News, Trends, Innovations
    • Key Points
      • Methodology
      • Product Innovation: First, Only, Best
        • Table Selected New Gluten-free Products: Innovative Features
      • "Free From" for Foodies
      • Grains: Ancient and Sprouted
    • Salty Snacks: Beans and Greens
      • Table Selected New Gluten-free Products: Salty Snacks and Crackers
      • Table Selected New Gluten-free Products: Pasta
      • Table Selected New Gluten-free Products: Bread and Dough
      • Table Selected New Gluten-free Products: Ready-to-Eat Cereal
      • Table Selected New Gluten-free Products: Cookies/Sweet Baked Goods
      • Table Selected New Gluten-free Products: Baking Mixes/Flour
  • The Consumer: Opinions, Preferences, Influences, Behaviors
    • Key Points
      • Methodology
      • Predictors of Food Avoidance
      • One-third of Consumers 25-34 and Parents of Children 6-11 Buy GF
      • Consumers 55+ Are Increasing Gluten-free Consumption
      • Increased Purchasing Seen for Wealthier, More Educated Gluten-free Consumers
      • More Information About Gluten-free Sought by Likely Candidates
      • Gluten-free Consumers Are Healthy and Health-conscious
        • Table Health Attitudes of Consumers Who Purchase Gluten-free Foods When Watching Diet, 2014 (percent and index of U.S. households)
        • Table Food Attitudes/Opinions of Consumers Who Purchase Gluten-free Foods When Watching Diet, 2014 (percent and index of U.S. households)
  • Selected Sources of Gluten-free Starch and Flour

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