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1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of the study

Gluten is a substance resulting from the processing of certain cereals (wheat, rye, barley, oats) which can be harmful for people diagnosed as intolerant. This is referred to as the Coeliac Disease; unlike popular belief, this is not synonymous to an allergy, but rather intolerance.

Included in the scope of the most frequently sold gluten-free products are:

  • Beer;
  • Aperitif biscuits;
  • Pasta;
  • Bread;
  • Sweet groceries;
  • The salty groceries;
  • Prepared meals.

The world market for gluten-free food is booming and the value growth between 2016 and 2021 is expected to reach 11.6%. The market is dominated by the US which in 2019 accounted for over 40% of the market share. Moreover, bakery products dominate the global demand for gluten free products.

Driven by a diversification of the offer of gluten-free products, the market is also benefiting from a positive image among consumers, as gluten-free products are often associated with a healthier diet. Going forward, this health trend is expected to contribute to the growth of the market.

In the US, around 1 of 133 people suffer from celiac disease. In 2018, the term gluten was included in 26% of the nation’s menus. [ift] The market is expected to grow parallel to an increased consumer awareness around health. Moreover, a growing number of restaurant outlets are offering gluten-free alternatives which will boost sales in this distribution channel as well.

The market structure in the US is fragmented; there are many companies with niche products. Still today, gluten-free alternatives are relatively expensive. However, there are larger players trying to bring prices down in the likes of Hain Celestial Group, General Mills, Kellogg's Company, and The Kraft Heinz Company.

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the market for gluten-free foods | United States

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