Gluten-free is the fastest growing food intolerance category showing a lot of potential in the future market worldwide. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley that causes intestinal damage (resulting in weight loss and nutritional deficiency) for individuals with gluten intolerance. Gluten-free foods are consumed by people suffering from coeliac disease, an ailment in which the immune system reacts to protein. All patients after diagnosis of coeliac disease are advised to strictly adhere to a gluten-free diet. Adherence to the gluten-free diet is considered to minimize the symptoms and improve nutritional status as well as prevent the development of complications that include osteoporosis and malignancies.
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Gluten free foods includes products made from gluten free flour or the natural occurring gluten free food like fruits and vegetables, unprocessed meat, fish and others. Innovations has made gluten free foods more palatable as well as convenient, helping in boosting the market growth.
Gluten-free market is segmented on the basis of source, product type, end use, distribution channel, and region.
On the basis of product type, gluten-free market is segmented into naturally occurring gluten-free and gluten free substitutes. Naturally gluten free products include fruits and vegetables, potato, lentils, unprocessed meat, fish. Poultry, rice and others. Whereas, the gluten-free substitutes include foods such as pasta, bread, cereals, flour, crackers and snack foods, in which wheat flour is replaced by gluten free flour.
On the basis of end use, gluten-free market is segmented into commercial (food processing), foodservice and household. In food processing sector it is widely used to make bread, pastas, biscuits, ready meals and many others.
On the basis of the distribution channel, gluten-free market is segmented into direct and retail sales. Direct sales refer to direct selling of gluten-free flour as an ingredient to other industries. Retail sales are further segmented into convenience stores, drug stores, grocery retailers, online retailers, and other retailing formats.
Drivers, Restraints, and Trends:
The key demand of Gluten-free products includes mainly from bakery & fast food market and also from food manufacturers. The key drivers are centered towards the gluten intolerant consumers worldwide which constitute a very niche segment. Changing tastes, increasing demand from millennials, improvement in marketing activities and rising demand for gluten-free snacks products is fueling the growth of market worldwide. Healthy life concerns are further subjected to grow the market. The added benefits of weight management, nutritious and sound digestive health is creating a shift and driving up the demand for gluten-free products.
A very niche market segment of naturally occurring gluten-free products is likely to gain rapid market growth. However low awareness among consumers about coeliac disease is hampering the market to grow.
The market for gluten-free food and beverages has undergone a radical change from a specialty niche product to a mainstream product. The U.S. is one of the largest and fastest growing gluten-free market globally. In the U.S. consumers are consuming more of gluten-free snacks because of the growing perception that gluten-free foods are a healthier option than regular food products. This perception has also led to increase in market share as well as is further projected to increase in the forecasted period.
Gluten-free product market is developing most rapidly in Europe. Adoption to healthy lifestyle patterns and the perception that consumption of gluten-free food products will avoid allergy and sensitivity is expected to grow the market in the projected period. Within Europe, the demand for gluten-free bread, cookies and snacks are among the highest and also the fastest growing.
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Urbanization and high disposable incomes are is boosting the demand in APAC Region. Consumers have diversified taste and preferences which give manufacturers a scope for innovation and to expand their product portfolio. Rising standard of living is further subjected to growth of the gluten-free market.
Some of the prominent players participating in the gluten free products market are Nestle, Bob’s Red Mill, General Mills, Avena Foods Limited, GF Harvest, Arrowhead Mills, Enjoy Life Foods, Kellogg, PepsiCo, Glutafin, The Pillsbury Company LLC, Hershey’s, and various other regional manufacturers.