Fast Growth for Gluten Free, Says Packaged Facts

February 4, 2011

Once niche, the gluten-free market has moved into the mainstream. Between 2006 and 2010, the U.S. gluten-free food and beverage market saw 30% compound annual growth rate.

Once niche, the gluten-free market has moved into the mainstream. Between 2006 and 2010, the U.S. gluten-free food and beverage market saw 30% compound annual growth rate. The market reached an estimated $2.6 billon in retail sales last year, according to Packaged Facts’ new report, Gluten-Free Foods and Beverages in the U.S., 3rd edition.

“People with celiac disease have been the natural drivers of the gluten-free market,” said Don Montuori, publisher of Packaged Facts. “However, there is evidence suggesting 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 retailer are increasingly happy to satisfy.”

The report cites mainstream brands that have gone gluten-free, such as General Mills, which transformed its popular Rice Chex cereal into a gluten-free product, without changing the taste, by substituting molasses for barley-based sweetener. The report says that as of November of last year, General Mills now claims to offer 250 gluten-free products.

The report also notes that gluten-free products are now offered in chain grocery stores as regular, not niche, grocery items.