In a recent SupermarketGuru.com poll, a sweeping majority (71%) had purchased gluten-free (GF) foods within the past three months, and 54% expect to continue to regularly buy GF foods.
Most believe consumers are buying gluten-free products because they believe they are healthier, but the Lempert Report found that the top five reasons reported by the consumer panel are “feel better eating gluten-free,” “household member has celiac disease,” “allergic to wheat,” “helps digestion,” and “doctor or nutritionist suggested.”
Gluten-free foods are those that do not contain the protein gluten (and other reactive proteins) which exist in all forms of wheat including: faro, durum, semolina, spelt, kamut, and einkorn, and all related grains including barley and rye. Gluten is found in baked goods and pastas, as well as in unidentified starches, binders, fillers, and malts. It can even be found as an additive or ingredient in cold cuts, soups, soy sauce, teas, and jelly beans.
If gluten containing baked goods are off the menu for gluten-free eaters, then what are the most popular gluten-free foods? Pasta ranked number one at 67%, followed by bread, crackers, cold cereal, alternative baking flour, snack foods, and cookies, all produced in the absence of gluten, of course.
The supermarket is the primary source of gluten-free foods for the consumer panel, as 60% say that’s where they make the majority of their purchases, followed by health foods stores at 18%. As the gluten-free market continues to grow, it’s important for stores and CPGs to stay informed and knowledgeable about gluten. (The Lempert Report: www.supermarketguru.com)