06 Jan Consumer Preference for Gluten-Free Grows
A recent article featured in Ingredient Company DSM’s World of Nutrition publication brings to light some interesting insights regarding the popularity of gluten-free products. Referring to “Market Drivers,” author Brenda Porter-Rockwell references statistics in support of the notion that the segment of consumers who elect to eat gluten-free substantially outweighs the portion of consumers who must avoid gluten for reason of allergies or intolerance.
Citing information from Mintel’s Gluten-Free Foods report and that published on the market research company’s blog, the following stats help to illustrate:
- 24 percent of consumers currently eat, or have someone in their households who eats, gluten-free foods
- 65 percent of consumers who eat or used to eat gluten-free foods do so because they think they are healthier
- 27 percent of consumers eat gluten-free because they feel they aid in weight loss
While it’s noted that the two dominant market drivers for avoiding gluten are allergy/intolerance and healthy diet; another market driver to consider is an affinity for the unique flavors associated with certain gluten-free grains used in place of wheat and other gluten-containing ingredients. Ancient grains, such as quinoa and chia are offered as examples.
The author also cites information from a 2013 Datamonitor Consumer survey that provides the following about insights related to the avoidance of gluten:
- 45 percent of consumers say that they’re avoiding gluten to lose weight
- 31 percent avoiding gluten say that they’re making a conscious effort to eat healthy
- 21 percent are avoiding gluten for allergy or intolerance reasons
The data indicates a strong public perception of gluten-free foods as healthier dietary option, regardless of allergies or intolerances. As dietitians are quick to point out, the belief that gluten-free foods are always healthier than gluten-containing foods is simply not supported by science. However, evidence has consistently shown that consumers who read labels and are more conscious of the ingredients in the foods they consume do tend to make healthier choices – which would support some correlation between gluten-free consumerism and healthy diet.
At Better4U Foods, as we bring innovative gluten-free foods to market – for those who need to eat gluten-free and those who choose to eat gluten-free –nutritional values of the ingredients we include remain a priority, just as much as the allergens we exclude. The result is wholesome natural foods that are always better for you!