Diet and Nutrition

Consumer Alert: “Gluten-Free” Claims Are Now All Over the Market

Consumer Alert: “Gluten-Free” Claims Are Now All Over the Market

Because of the amount of diagnoses of celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity, there has been a number of companies adapting their products to be gluten-free for consumers. According to Beyond Celiac, there is actually an estimated 1 in 133 Americans diagnosed with the disease, which is about 1% of the general population.

Fortunately, gluten-free products do exist in the market. But, because of the growing amount of these products, many consumers are wondering which products are truly gluten-free and which are not. 

The increasing popularity of gluten-free foods

The amount of gluten-free food is continuously growing. In fact, it has been projected that by 2020, the value of this market will reach over $7.50 billion. It also made up 2.8% of the foods sales in the U.S. in 2013 while in 2015, it made up about 6.5% of the sales. Well, these numbers are not that surprising at all since about 64% of the U.S. consumers consider a gluten-free diet healthier than other diets out there.  

Back in 2010, gluten-free products were also becoming popular in Canadian restaurants. In 2013, there has even been a 137% increase in the interest of people for these products. Also, from 2008-2012, the annual growth rate of the gluten-free market in Canada is over 26% while its sales value in Canada back in 2012 was estimated to be about $27 million. By 2018, the market is expected to reach $6.2 billion, with North America contributing 59% of it. In the world, United States is still one of the largest gluten-free markets.  

Gluten-free foods for people with celiac disease

The main target of the companies who belong in this industry are the people with celiac disease since they are advised to go on a gluten-free diet the moment they are diagnosed. According to statistics, celiac disease is one of the most common chronic illnesses in the world. In fact, there has been an estimate that it affects one out of 133 Americans and Canadians. Around 10% of Canadians are estimated to be exerting great effort to find food that is free of gluten while in the U.S., one in four adults said that they either cut down on gluten or get rid of it completely. 31% of Americans also said that they are interested in trying gluten-free foods.

While Canada is strict when it comes to food that contains oats, in the U.S., there has been a number of oats and products that contain oats labeled as “gluten-free”.  In fact, from 2007-2013, 1,325 new oat products, including energy bars and cereals, were launched, and these products came with a gluten-free claim that would normally be false.