02 Nov What’s Driving the Gluten Free Market?
In 2014 the global free-from produce market was estimated at a value of $3.3bn, which is projected to increase to $5bn by 2020, but why is this? Where has this demand come from?
In the UK alone, a third of the population has bought free-from produce, with 22% buying purely gluten-free produce and it is estimated that it is partly due to a widening variety of products already on offer resulting in a want for even more choice. For coeliacs and those with genuine intolerances to gluten, it is a welcome improvement in the free-from market. However, with the numbers of those suffering from conditions which actually prohibit them from eating glutinous produce remaining fairly stable, the dramatic rise in demand must be put down to diet and health trends.
There is data however that suggests that demand would fall if consumers were to discover that free-from products were any less healthy that the foods that they replace. Many state that they would no longer buy them if they were to contain higher levels of fats or sugar, suggesting that for many, it is simply the perceived health benefits that drive the free-from market for those not affected by gluten.
There are other factors however such as that of gluten allergy and intolerance awareness. This surge in demand has resulted in the important discussion about gluten, helping us to find out more about what it does do for us, and the health benefits and implications that its associated with.