The global gluten-free market has experienced significant growth, driven by increasing awareness of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, as well as broader consumer interest in health and wellness. The size of the gluten-free market was $9.85 billion in 2022 and is expected to soar to $15.76 billion by 2028, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.15 percent. Europe, in particular, is experiencing substantial growth: its gluten-free market is projected to grow from $3.62 billion in 2024 to $6.52 billion in 2030, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.33%.

Expanding horizons: the trend of increasing consumption of gluten-free products in Italy

In Italy, the consumer trend toward gluten-free products is clear and the market is taking on a more defined shape. The Italian Celiac Association (AIC) has reported a gluten-free market worth about 400 million euros.

The growing number of people diagnosed with celiac disease, estimated at more than 240,000 and expected to increase, is fueling the expansion of the market. Expanding the range of products offered, including bread, pasta, and snacks, is also a major factor behind the increase in demand for gluten-free products. In particular, major retailers such as Despar, Esselunga and Carrefour have invested in the development of their brands dedicated to this segment, including introducing organic options.

The evolution of distribution channels for these products is a clear indication of market growth. Supermarkets and hypermarkets now offer special departments for gluten-free products, specialty stores offer a wide range of products, and e-commerce platforms provide access to gluten-free products from around the world. However, this market carries a substantial price premium. Compared to their gluten-containing equivalents, gluten-free products can cost up to several times more, with increases of up to 450 percent. Although the impact of this additional cost is somewhat mitigated by regional premiums for celiac patients, the high cost poses a financial challenge for those who follow a gluten-free diet out of necessity.

Some of the major companies analyzed:

  • The Barilla Group: Barilla ventured into this market with a range of pastas suitable for people who avoid gluten. With the introduction of gluten-free spaghetti and fusilli, among other forms.
  • Galbusera: Galbusera has embraced the gluten-free trend by producing cookies and other snacks for health-conscious customers with dietary restrictions.
  • Mulino Bianco : Owned by Barilla, Mulino Bianco is another household name that has responded to market demands by offering gluten-free versions of well-loved products. From crackers to bread, the brand maintains its reputation for taste and satisfaction in the gluten-free category.
  • Buitoni: frozen pizzas and pastries can be particularly difficult to recreate without gluten, but Buitoni has taken on that task, offering gluten-free alternatives to popular frozen pizzas and pastries.
  • Peroni: Alcoholic beverages, particularly beer, are not spared the demand for gluten-free options. Peroni, one of Italy's best-known beer brands, has developed a gluten-free beer.
  • Algida: Cornetto Algida, an ice cream classic, has not been excluded from the gluten-free revolution; in fact, even Algida has introduced gluten-free versions of its ice creams.
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Summary and extracts

1 Market summary

1.1 Definition and presentation

In today's wellness and health food environment, the market for gluten-free products stands out as a rapidly expanding segment, witnessing a growing awareness and need among consumers. Celiac disease, along with other gluten sensitivities, has catalyzed a global focus on safe and affordable food alternatives, setting the stage for a significant transformation in the food consumption landscape.

The global gluten-free market projection shows an impressive upward trajectory, with estimates projecting a jump from $9.85 billion in 2022 to $15.76 billion by 2028. This expansion, quantified at a compound annual growth rate(CAGR) of8.15 percent, reflects not only a shift in consumer preferences but also an improvement in the supply of innovative, high-quality products.Europe emerges as an epicenter of this growth, with forecasts showing an increase in the value of the gluten-free market from $3.62 billion in 2024 to $6.52 billion by 2030, showing a CAGR of 10.33 percent. This shows a particularly marked acceleration in the European context, underscoring the importance of market strategies adapted to the peculiarities and needs of European consumers.

In Italy, the phenomenon takes on even more defined contours, with the Italian Celiac Association (AIC) reporting a market for gluten-free products valued at around 400 million euros.

1.2 Global market analysis

The global market for gluten-free products is experiencing significant growth, driven by increased awareness of celiac disease and other gluten sensitivities, , with projections indicating a market size of $**.** billion by ****, registering a significant compound annual growth rate(***) of*.** percent from $*.** billion in ****. This trend reflects a growing demand for healthy and ...

1.3 The Italian market

Considering the enterprises under Ateco Code **.**, related to "Production of homogenized preparations and dietetic foods, " between **** and ****, the total turnover of the industry appears to be growing. During the period analyzed, the total turnover of companies increased from *.** billion euros to *.** billion euros, marking a growth of **.* percent. The trend is ...

1.4 The consequences of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict

The outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict in February **** led to a general increase in the consumer price index. The agribusiness sector appears to be one of the most affected by the consequences of the conflict. Considering the consumer price index for food products, and assuming a similar trend for health foods, ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 Consumer profile

There are more than *** thousand celiacs in Italy, and the trend is expected to be upward. New diagnoses in the last three years averaged * thousand per year, with a clear prevalence of the female sex(***). In ****, there were ***,** people in Italy diagnosed with celiac disease. Considering that the estimated prevalence of ...

2.2 Demand drivers

The gluten-free market, which in the past has been considered a niche market, appears to be growing and may become a mass market. This trend is supported by several drivers, the most influential of which are:

Increase in the range of products on the market

The number and type of products ...

2.3 New demand trends

Food personalization technology, which leverages algorithms and artificial intelligence, represents a significant advancement in the production of diet foods for athletes. This technology relies on detailed analysis of consumers' eating habits, lifestyle and health status to create a personalized diet plan. Key benefits include:

Data-driven personalization: using specific data collected from ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Market structure and dynamics

in order to analyze the structure of the gluten-free food market, enterprises under Ateco Code **.** "Production of homogenized preparations and dietetic foods" are considered.

Between **** and ****, the total number of enterprises devoted to the production of homogenized preparations and dietetic foods appears to be growing. During the period, the number of ...

3.2 Value Chain

The value chain in the gluten-free market has seen significant growth in recent years, in part due to an increase in the diagnosis of celiac disease and increased awareness of gluten sensitivities, but also due to a general trend toward food choices perceived as healthier or better suited to certain ...

3.3 Distribution channels

Distribution channels for selling gluten-free foods have become increasingly varied and accessible, reflecting the growing demand for products specifically for gluten-free diets. These channels have evolved to meet the needs of a wide range of consumers, from those with celiac disease to those who choose a gluten-free diet for health or ...

3.4 Main actors

4 Supply analysis

4.1 Type of products

While the family of gluten-free products covers a variety of applications ranging from cosmetics to beer, foods remain the most important products in the gluten-free industry. Thus, within the food industry, the most common products include the following categories:

Flour (***) Bread, pastries and cakes Dry pasta Pizza dough, puff pastry, shortcrust ...

4.2 A significant price premium for gluten-free products

In Italy, gluten-free products have a significantly higher cost than traditional foods, with an increase of up to ***%. This situation has a greater impact on those who follow a gluten-free diet out of medical necessity, such as those with celiac disease, who represent about * percent of the Italian population. However, despite ...

4.3 Gluten-free beers

Gluten-free beer production in Italy meets the needs of those with celiac disease by offering tasty alternatives to traditional beer. There are two main production methods: one uses naturally gluten-free raw materials, such as rice, corn, quinoa, amaranth, and sorghum; the other involves the use of barley malt with a subsequent ...

5 Rules and regulations

5.1 Rules and regulations

The Regulation (***) ***/**** establishes clear requirements for the provision of information to consumers about gluten-free or low-gluten foods. This regulation was adopted to ensure that consumers, particularly those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, have the information they need to make safe and informed food choices. The regulation specifies the conditions under ...

5.2 Celiac disease bonus

In Italy, the celiac disease bonus represents significant support for people with the condition, enabling them to cover part of the costs associated with the purchase of gluten-free products. The bonus can be up to *,*** euros per year, varying according to the age and sex of the beneficiary, reflecting different caloric ...

6 Positioning of actors

6.1 Segmentation

  • Barilla
  • Dr. Schär
  • Nutrifree
  • Galbusera
  • Riso Scotti

List of charts

  • Value of the European gluten-free food market
  • Global market for gluten-free products
  • Total enterprise turnover under Ateco Code 10.86 "Production of homogenized preparations and diet foods"
  • Production of diet foods, breakdown by product type
  • Specialized nutrition foods, breakdown by product type
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Latest news

Barilla loses the second round of the cookie war - 02/04/2024
  • Date of the Beginning of the Affair: June 2023 - Barilla asks the Court of Brescia to prohibit the sale of nine types of cookies by the Tedesco and Sapori Artigianali companies for excessive similarity to its own products.
  • First Degree of Judgment: February 2024 - The Court partially grants Barilla's requests, banning the sale of certain products and the use of certain packaging due to their similarity to Mulino Bianco's products and packaging.
  • Second Degree of Judgment: March 18, 2024 - The Court of Brescia dismisses Barilla's complaint and accepts the claims of the Tedesco and Sapori Artigianali companies.
  • Arguments of the Reversal of the Judgment:
    • Volgarization of Shape Marks: The shape of the cookies in question is now considered so common that it is no longer distinctive of a particular manufacturer.
    • Packaging Disputed: Despite similarity, Tedesco's packaging is not considered likely to create undue confusion or associations with Barilla's due to the prevalence of common elements in the industry.
    • Urgency of the Proceedings: The court rejects the urgency requested by Barilla for intervention, noting that Barilla was aware of the sale of the "similar" products as early as 2016.
  • Implications for the Industry: This case highlights the importance of distinctiveness and originality in product and packaging design in an overcrowded market. It also shows the legal and business challenges in protecting these aspects in competitive environments.
Barilla launches "Accordions": six years of research for a brioche perfect for dunking - 26/03/2024
  • Research and development period: 6 years, started in 2018.
  • Production facility: Melfi, Basilicata.
  • Investment: Over 30 million euros in the last 3 years in the Melfi plant, with investments dedicated to both sustainability and innovation, including the creation of production lines for Pancakes and Fisarmoniche.
  • Sugar content: Accordions has -35% sugar compared to the average of best-selling snacks.
  • Calorie content: 120 kcal/piece.
  • Plant production capacity: Maximum capacity of 83,000 tons/year.
  • Number of employees in Melfi: More than 350.
  • Quality checks: More than 5,000 checks on finished products and 200 on raw materials per day.
  • Environmental savings over the past 10 years: 40% water savings and 27% reduction in CO2 emissions.
  • Total number of Mulino Bianco references: Over 130, which include cookies, snacks, and breads.
  • Italians' preference for dunking: 6 out of 10 Italians like to dunk snacks or cookies for breakfast.
  • Ingredients: Without coloring and preservative additives or palm oil. Contains 4% fiber.
  • Plant size: 202,000 m^2.
  • Brand in Focus: Galbusera.
  • Brand Values: Authenticity, authenticity, wellness, focus on health, exploratory capacity.
  • New Brand Positioning: "Galbusera nourishes your desire to feel good every day."
  • Scope of Evolution: Healthy, production innovation in the bakery scene.
  • Advertising Campaign: Managed by VML, the start is in Sanremo week with a 30'' pilot subject and a teaser in the previous 2 weeks.
  • Communication Platforms Involved: Cinema, digital, social with ad hoc content.
  • Media Planning: Wavemaker.
  • Galbusera Marketing Director Comment: Giovanna Solito, highlights the evolution of consumer needs in wellness and the synthesis of the different souls of the brand.
  • CCO of VML Italy: Luca Boncompagni and Diego Tardani, expresses pride in the centrality of wellness as a lifestyle promoted by Galbusera.
  • Production Company: Movie Magic.
  • Director: Davide Gentile.

Price reduction by Barilla: 7% to 13%.

  • Products involved: Spaghetti No. 5, most of the pasta assortment, Mulino Bianco products (cookies, snacks, rusks, breads) and some Pavesi items (such as Gocciole)
  • Duration of the promotion: until December 31, 2024
  • Rationale: Extraordinary operation to reduce transfer prices to direct customers and distributors, achieved by lowering contract prices on a significant basket of products
  • Other strategic initiatives of Barilla: investments along its supply chains, in production sites, focus on research and development of new technologies, innovation with new product launches, communication campaigns, continuous collaboration with partners operating in the distribution sector
Barilla, a great name in Italian pasta juggling crises - 24/04/2023
  • Barilla sales: 4.5 billion euros
  • Barilla is the world's leading buyer of durum wheat
  • Sales of the group's French subsidiary: 720 million euros by 2022 (14% growth)
  • Price inflation for pasta packets: +20%
  • Harry's market share (sandwich bread): 29.7
  • Barilla has 4 bakery plants in France.
Harrys aims to conquer baguette country - 18/04/2023
  • The market has tripled in size in twenty years.
  • 30% market share for Harrys.
  • 11 billion euros in sales for traditional bakery products by 2022.
  • Steady decline in fresh bread consumption in France since 2015.
  • Harry's founded in 1970 and acquired by Italy's Barilla in 2003.
  • Share of pre-sliced and pre-packed bread consumption in France: nearly 10%.
  • Share of pre-sliced and pre-packed bread consumption in Germany: 45%.
  • Share of pre-sliced and pre-packed bread consumption in Spain: 14%.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Dr. Schär
Riso Scotti

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