The global gluten free food and beverages market is increasing at a CAGR 14% and is projected to generate a revenue of USD XX million in 2022. In developed countries, product selection is the most important factor for choosing gluten free foods and beverages, followed by low price, convenience, good service, close to where they live, knowledgeable staff to help, friendliness of staff, and close to where they work. The European region is the fastest-growing market in the near future owing to health concerns in this region. Gluten-free products has witnessed a strong growth even among non-celiac patients with more number of new product introductions in snacks and beverages.
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Overall, the market for gluten free products have undergone a radical change from being only in pharmacy/nutrition stores to finding their place in grocery outlets. The demand for gluten free products mainly comes from health conscious consumers who are influenced by natural and organic ingredients consumption. The main buyers of these products belong to two different age groups, one belong to 50-64 age group and the other in the group 25-34. These consumers are further influenced by advertisements. Around 20% of consumers in developed countries of North America and Europe prefer to buy gluten free products most of the time, while another 22% buy them occasionally. Majority of the consumers buying gluten free products suffer from celiac disease (CD) and follow a strict gluten-free diet (GFD) as the only treatment for managing the disease and reducing the risk of other complications. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder which affects the small intestine, caused by the reaction to gluten, proteins found in wheat and other grains. 3.1 million Americans now follow a gluten-free diet and 72% of them are classified as "PWAGs" or people without celiac disease avoiding gluten. Other type of consumers include those suffer from several other conditions, including non-celiac gluten sensitivity, wheat allergy, autism, ADHD, multiple sclerosis and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The third category consumers want to consume gluten free products just as a means to maintain good bowel condition. Gluten-free products have been gaining promotions through strong retail presence and government initiatives.
The market has become highly competitive, with innovation in products being a major approach to become dominant in the market. However, there are many challenges in terms of improving the quality of products which is a major issue in developing regions.
Gluten free food and beverages are segmented into beverages, bread products, cookies and snacks, condiments, seasonings & spreads, dairy/dairy substitutes, meats/meat substitute and other types of gluten-free products. More products are regularly entering these categories, thus increasing competition for manufacturers. For example, salty snacks which have major share in gluten free foods, are not only gluten free now, but contain vegetables and legumes which offers increased health benefits by containing more fibers and nutrients. In terms of launches, gluten-free bakery has highest launches consisting biscuits (more than 40% of total global bakery launches), ahead of bakery ingredients and mixes (30%).
Pulses have become a popular choice for making gluten-free pastas, baked foods and snacks and gaining a strong appeal from health-oriented shoppers who seek products high in protein and fiber. In US gluten free beverages have high demand than other countries; they rank after bakery, snacks, sauces and seasoning, processed fish, meat and egg products in terms of sales.
North America and Europe are the leading gluten free products market, together accounting for more than 70% of the market share. North America is the largest market for gluten free products with US as the market leader. It is projected that European market for gluten free products will witness significant growth with UK being the leader. Several retailers like Wal-Mart, Loblaws, Metro and Sobeys now have private label gluten-free products. More than 60% of gluten-free purchases happen in supermarkets and mass merchandisers, 30% from health and natural food stores, and the remainder from club-type stores, drug stores and other retailers.
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The Asia- Pacific & South America regions are still have small market due to low awareness among consumers. Middle East region is emerging as one to look over for the gluten-free sector with United Arab Emirates is seen as the key destination.
The market for gluten-free foods & beverages has undergone a radical change from being considered specialty niche products to mainstream products. The market is highly competitive, with innovation in products being a major strategic approach adopted by leading players. This trend is likely to continue in the future, as the established set of players seeks to garner increased market share.
Gluten free food manufacturers are adopting the key strategy of having patents in order to gain exclusivity in the market. For example, General Mills, Inc. had filed patent application on a method and system designed to establish gluten-free oats. Those companies who do not have their own gluten free products are trying to acquire companies having gluten free products portfolio. In 2015, Pinnacle Foods, despite having skepticism about gluten-free products market, entered into an agreement to acquire Boulder Brands for approximately USD 975 million. Boulder Brands manufactures gluten-free and frozen food products as well as a line of shelf-stable spreads under the Udi’s, Glutino, Evol and Smart Balance brands. Some of the major companies involved in the industry growth are-
Gluten-free food was named one of the top trends by the National Restaurant Association, and franchise restaurants are in pursuit of customers seeking gluten-free snacks and meals. From pizzas to pastas to pastries and cookies, franchise food brands are adding gluten-free items to their menus, a nationwide phenomenon expected to continue growing in the coming years. This is a huge opportunity for investment. Another opportunity is creating websites and apps to find gluten-free restaurants, bakeries and other businesses in the area, complete with contact information, ratings, reviews, and directions.
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