Gluten-free food growth spurs shift to mainstream

Seneca crispy

Gluten-free foods and beverages aren’t just for people with celiac disease anymore. A recent study from Packaged Facts reported “gluten-free foods and beverages have quickly transformed into a mainstream sensation, embraced by consumers out of necessity and as a personal choice toward achieving a healthier way to live.”

The report predicted that growth in the gluten-free product category, which had a compound annual growth rate of 30% from 2006 to 2010 and reached $2.6 billion in 2010, will continue over the next five years. Sales should exceed $5 billion by 2015. 

Gluten-free snacks have had significant growth over the past few years. A recent Mintel study cited Pamela’s Product as the largest company in the gluten-free snacks segment, with almost double the sales of its closest competitor. EatSmart Naturals snacks, Glutino pretzels and Lundberg rice cakes and rice chips have been leaders in that segment. 

Research shows that the gluten-free cracker category has seen triple-digit growth. Blue Diamond Nut Thins and Mary’s Gone Crackers are two key players in that segment.

One result of the mainstreaming of the category is the shift in retail distribution of gluten-free products from specialty stores to chains. “The surge in the sales and number of dedicated gluten-free products carried by supermarkets and mass merchants demonstrates that gluten-free is becoming ‘just a regular item,’” according to Packaged Facts report.


 The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Snacks Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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