The gluten-free trend shows no signs of slowing down. Over the last two years, the US gluten-free food market has grown by an impressive 68%, and according to a new report by the market research firm Mintel, the market will reach sales of $8.8 billion in 2014. The exploding popularity of all things gluten-free is taking place despite the fact that a very small number of people actually have a true allergy to gluten, otherwise known as celiac disease, or a gluten intolerance, known as non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS). LA Weekly, which covered the Mintel report, reviewed the numbers from some of the research done on celiac disease and NCGS, and estimated that people with these two conditions make up around 3.5% of the US population. Nevertheless, many more Americans, 41% in fact, believe that gluten-free foods are beneficial for everyone. Here are a few details from the Mintel report:
The biggest growth occurred in the snacks category, which was largely due to a 456% increase in the sale of gluten-free potato chips.
The second fastest growing area was the meat and meat alternatives category. Although meat is naturally grain-free, manufacturers were still quick to put a “gluten-free” label on their meat products.
Altogether, 22% of Americans now follow a gluten-free diet—up from 15% in 2013.
Source: LA Weekly