Gluten Free Goes Mainstream

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

I came across this article today and thought you might find it of interest. 

It's directed to restaurant owners, but has some insightful stats and information regarding our lovely gluten free diet.  The title pretty much sums it up...we're mainstream and getting more headway with restaurants and grocery stores every day! 

To quote my hubby, "Hallar!" :)

Gluten free goes mainstream
By Cari Price, Corporate Development Chef, Food IQ

Recently, eating gluten-free has grown significantly in awareness and practice in the United States. Ten years ago most of us didn’t know what the diet encompassed let alone name the genetic digestive disorder behind it — celiac disease. Although awareness has grown rather quickly, the occurrence of American’s with celiac disease has only doubled every 15 years since 1974, according to a recent USA Today article.

So why have sales of gluten-free products increased 16 percent in 2010 alone, based on Nielsen Company data? And why does gluten-free rank the No. 1 nutritional claim related to specialized diets on restaurant menus tracked by Mintel Menu Insights?

Awareness of gluten-free is obvious when you consider the expansion in availability and significant sales growth of gluten-free products. And gluten-free menu claims have grown a whopping 114 percent over the last three years. This leads us to believe that consumers beyond those diagnosed with celiac disease are eating gluten-free.

When it comes to menu development around specialty diets such as gluten-free, our industry’s biggest concern is longevity. Is this diet just another fad or is it a growing consumer need? There is a lot of discovery to be done surrounding consumer expectations as well as the best replacements for gluten-containing ingredients, and these processes can be expensive. Additionally, employee education and training is key to preventing cross-contamination with gluten, which is of the utmost importance when dealing with food allergies. Is the gluten-free diet just a “flash in the pan” like the low-carb diet and countless others that have surfaced in recent years? Or does it have sustainability in America?

You Might Also Like


Like us on Facebook

Follow Us On Twitter