The market for gluten-free foods & beverages in Japan is quite mature, which forms the reason for its relatively slower forecast growth between 2016 and 2021 in comparison to other regions in Asia-Pacific. Cornering an estimated share of 30% in 2016, dairy/dairy substitutes represent the largest segment of gluten-free foods & beverages in the region, demand for which is also anticipated to record the fastest growth in similar period.
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.
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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