Gluten-Free is More Than a Fad

June 10, 2010

Gluten-Free is More Than a Fad

The profitability and growth of the gluten-free market continues to make waves!

A recent article published by Natural Foods Merchandiser (NFM) highlights rising sales in the gluten-free market, which remarkably, continue to climb despite the current economic climate.

SPINS, a market research firm based in Illinois, shows that the gluten-free industry grew 13.9 percent in the natural foods market and 11.4 percent in the conventional foods market in 2009. “The gluten-free trend shows not just staying power, but double-digit growth in the midst of a recession” with over one billion dollars in sales.

With all of this growth and expansion, the gluten-free industry is changing for the better. Debbie Sipos of Simply Gluten Free comments, “I think manufacturers are taking more time and effort to really listen to the consumer, and they’re working very hard to change the way they produce gluten-free products.” Increased shelf life and improved taste are among the changes that Sipos noted.

With the number of safe and tasty gluten-free products entering the market on the rise, retailers have responded by not only carrying them in stores – but devoting entire aisles geared towards customers with Celiac.

According to an article in The Post-Journal, Wegmans, a NFCA sponsor, now offers over 800 of their own brand gluten-free products.

Wegmans is also taking strides in its labeling system. Gluten-free products are denoted with a ‘G’ on the left side of the label, making shopping much easier for customers with dietary restrictions. Along with the excellent labeling system, Wegmans also provides lists of available gluten-free products and recipes on its website.

Bob Burke of Natural Products Consulting adds, “I think that having a gluten-free section now shows the retailer’s commitment to the category and helps consumers seeking them out.”

Just how much impact is this growth having on retailers? “Sales of gluten-free products at the Jamestown Wegmans have doubled in the past two years,” says Jennifer Johnson of Wegmans store 88. In reaction to the growing sales, shelf space has recently doubled as well, expanding the gluten-free shelving to an impressive 30 feet.

To read more about the recent buzz surrounding gluten-free: