CHICAGO—Sales in the gluten-free food and beverage market are estimated to reach $10.5 billion in 2013, up 44% from 2011, according to new market data from Mintel.
According to Amanda Topper, food analyst at Mintel, consumer perception that gluten-free foods and beverages are healthier than their gluten-containing counterparts is a major driver for the market, as interest expands across both gluten-sensitive and health-conscious consumers.
The report, "Gluten-free Foods - US - September 2013," shows the gluten-free market has grown 44% from 2011-13, with strong interest in gluten-free food and beverage for reasons other than gluten allergies. The research shows 65% of consumers who eat or used to eat gluten-free foods do so because they think the foods are healthier, and 27% eat them because they feel the foods aid in their weight loss.
Additionally, 36% of Americans who eat or used to eat gluten-free foods say they do so for reasons other than sensitivity. Further, 7% say they eat them for inflammation, and 4% say they purchase them to combat depression.
The growth of gluten-free foods has led the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate labeling for gluten-free products. The FDA chose the term "gluten-free" for labeling of food to aid the three million Americans who are victims of celiac disease.
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