The celiac community proves to be a powerful force in the expansion of gluten-free options.
Latest figures released by Packaged Facts research group project the gluten-free market to reach $2.6 billion by 2012. The report cites the increased diagnosis of celiac disease as one of the driving forces behind the double-digit growth.
“Evidence shows that the patients that comprise the celiac community are not willing to be passive sufferers. Their passion to live a full life without gluten must be considered one of the most powerful driving forces in the market,” says Tatjana Meerman, publisher of Packaged Facts. “The fact that approximately three million Americans suffer from celiac disease does not mean that only they are buying gluten-free. Those others suffering maladies relieved by going gluten-free and their ensuing mobilization and activism have focused a great deal of attention on gluten-free eating.”
Packaged Facts market research group estimates that the gluten-free food and beverage market increased an average of 28% annually since 2004. In 2008, the gluten-free market accrued $1.6 billion in retail sales.
NFCA encourages the entire food industry to engage in the gluten-free market through its GREAT training program and GREAT Association.
The Gluten- Free Resource Education Awareness Training (GREAT) program is a multimedia, comprehensive educational tool that seeks to inform and educate the entire food industry on celiac disease and the gluten-free diet, as well as gluten-free cooking and product protocols.
The GREAT Association, an extension of NFCA’s GREAT program, is a national nonprofit trade association of gluten-free businesses and other interested parties. GREAT works to enhance and improve the gluten-free business climate in the nation by promoting quality, tested gluten-free products to the general public, protecting the rights of gluten-free businesses, and assisting businesses to improve their sales and profits. The GREAT Association aims to standardize and assist the entire spectrum of the gluten-free food industry, including manufacturers, vendors, retailers, and both individual and multi-unit chain foodservice establishments. Members can register specific products as gluten-free and use the trusted and recognized GREAT logo on product packaging.
The GREAT Association provides members support and training, educational and scientific resources, networking opportunities, and a means to increase branding and visibility so that they may thrive within the gluten-free market. The GREAT Association offers continuing education credits for members of the American Dietetic Association (ADA) and the American Culinary Federation (ACF) who participate in GREAT Association training programs.
To learn more about NFCA’s GREAT program and GREAT Association, email [email protected] or call (215) 325-1306, ext. 105.