Gluten-free prepared foods form a comparatively small segment of the overall gluten-free foods & beverages market, with a share of about 5%. North America leads the global market for gluten-free prepared foods in terms of size, as well as growth, with the former being estimated at 54% in 2016 and the latter being forecast at a CAGR of about 12.2% between 2018 and 2023.
Wheat, barley, rye and their derivatives are found to contain the protein called gluten and individuals sensitive to it exhibit mild symptoms of intolerance such as chronic diarrhea and vomiting. However, there exists a sizeable population that shows typical symptoms of intolerance that is classified as celiac disease. This is an inherited autoimmune disorder in which gluten damages the small intestine, with the only remedy for it being a strict gluten-free diet for life. For instance, prevalence of this disease in North America has been put at between three and four million, though only 5%-10% of the cases have been currently diagnosed.
The market for gluten-free foods & beverages has undergone a radical change from being considered specialty niche products to becoming mainstream products. Millions of individuals around the world have started consuming gluten free products, not only because of being diagnosed with celiac disease but also because of a general perception of maintaining better health. A current trend towards free from products consumption has given further impetus to the gluten free foods & beverages segment.
The market for gluten-free products is highly competitive, with innovation in products being a major strategic approach being 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.
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