Gluten-free niche gains momentum

Gluten-free foods have exploded into the mainstream as more people see the foods as a healthier option. The Celiac Disease Foundation estimated that 17 million Americans may be gluten-intolerant. Millions more claim that avoiding gluten helps them control everything from arthritis to asthma.


New products, from niche and major players, give consumers more choices and further fuel the segment’s momentum. While growth won’t be as explosive over the next five years, Packaged Facts projected that U.S. sales of gluten-free foods and beverages will exceed $5 billion by 2015, moving the products beyond fad to trend status. 


Retailers have responding by creating gluten-free sections to help consumers find a wide range of products — from breads to snacks to beverages. Flagged with shelf signage that helps consumers find just what they are looking for, the sections are a natural fit for drug stores looking to expand their better-for-you food selections.

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