The gluten free food market is estimated to grow at an approximate CAGR of 10.4% from 2016 to 2024. The growing number of people suffering from celiac disease and with gluten sensitivity is one of the major factors driving the growth in the gluten free food market. The increasing focus on weight management, rising public awareness about the advantages of gluten free food and the change in consumer lifestyle are greatly responsible for the growth in the gluten-free food market.
The NCFA (National Foundation for Celiac Awareness) statistics have specified that 1 in 133 people in the U.S. are suffering from celiac disease among which 80% are diagnosed or misdiagnosed. The growing incidence of diabetes, celiac disease, obesity and other diagnosed food intolerances ailments have positively impacted the growth of the gluten free food market. The increase in demand for ready-to-eat packaged foods and base ingredients has also contributed to the market growth.
The improvement in the product labelling, taste, quality and nutrition in the gluten free food products has led to an increase in the demand for gluten free food. Further, consumers have a variety of options while buying both ready-to-eat packaged goods and base ingredients.
The concept of gluten free food has changed from being medicated products for gluten intolerant people to a lifestyle choice among customers from all segments. New product innovation providing efficient gluten-free food solutions for the ageing population and customized allergen-free products are expected to drive the demand for gluten free food.
The gluten-free food market has been gaining popularity due to a strong retail presence and improved government initiatives in various countries. Supermarkets and departmental stores like Publix, Wegmans, Wal-Mart and Target have separate sections for gluten-free food. Some of the stores have also hire dieticians and nutritionists who would help customers and solve their queries which involve reading food labels, providing food intake guidance and organise store tours. This has greatly improved the sales of the gluten-free food products.
There is a lack of awareness about gluten-free food products in the developing countries in the Asia-Pacific and Latin America region. It has been observed that consumers are unable to differentiate between intolerance and allergy. Further, the consumers are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for celiac diseases most of the times. These factors can restrict the growth in the gluten-free food market.
The market is segmented on the basis of type, bakery products, pizzas & pasta, cereals & snacks, savouries, dairy, meat and confectionery products. Bakery products dominated the gluten free food market. This segment includes biscuits, bread, pies, pastries, doughnuts, bread and muffins.
The cereals & snack products segment are expected to grow at the highest growth rate over the forecast period. This is due to the increasing availability of corn, quinoa and sorghum which has led to innovations in the bakery products segment using these gluten free sources in the developed markets of Canada, Italy, Germany and the U.S.
The market is also segmented on the basis of a distribution channel into conventional sources, hotels & restaurants, educational institutions, hospitals & drug stores, and speciality services. The gluten-free food market can also be classified on the basis of source, oilseeds & pulses, rice & corn, dairy & meat products, tuber crops, pseudo-cereals and other cereals.
The gluten-free food market is well developed in North America and Europe. Europe dominates a major part of the market share. The markets in France and Germany are mainly going to contribute to the growth of the European gluten-free food market. It is expected that there will be an increased demand for gluten-free pasta in Germany. Further, consumers are getting attracted to the weight-loss programs which have also led to an increase in the gluten-free food demand.
North America is estimated to experience the fastest growth rate in the gluten-free food market. This is mainly because of the increasing demand for gluten-free diet among the consumers. Asia Pacific and Latin America are predicted to experience a moderate growth due to the lack of product awareness and health benefits of consuming gluten free food products.
The FDA has implemented stringent rules and regulations in the food & beverage market. Manufacturers are boundto comply with regulation stated by the FDA and other authorities. The products with the label ‘gluten-free', ‘no gluten', ‘free of gluten' and ‘without gluten' can contain a maximum gluten limit of 20 parts per million (ppm). The European Union has implemented the same regulation on the gluten-free food products.
The key market players operating in the gluten free food market are Kellogg's Company, Dr Schar, Hain Celestial, Boulder Brands, General Mills and Freedom Foods Group. These companies adopt various strategic initiatives such as mergers & acquisitions, product developments and are engaged in contracts & agreements to boost marketshare.The other important players in the market areKraft Heinz Company and Genius Foods Ltd, Raisio PLC, Valeo Foods, Ener-G Foods andHero Group AG.
Research Support Specialist, USA