The gluten-free marketplace is skyrocketing! In just a few short years, the specialty industry has morphed from a small, niche market into a large, mainstream sensation that helps out more than 10 million Americans living with celiac disease or other conditions related to gluten intolerance.
Consumer demand is largely responsible for the extraordinary surge in the marketplace. Although many of the folks driving the market are required to live on a gluten-free diet to treat celiac disease, the majority of gluten-free consumers have embarked on a gluten-free diet out of choice. Some people simply believe that gluten-free food is better for them, while the latest anecdotal evidence suggests that a gluten-free diet could help alleviate symptoms of many common conditions including Autism in children, type 1 diabetes and arthritis. Although little research clearly explains why the gluten-free diet helps these conditions, millions agree that they simply feel better when they're eating gluten-free.
As more and more shoppers demand gluten-free food, large companies such as General Mills are jumping on the gluten-free bandwagon and are driving up the quality of products. And, in turn, the market has exploded. According to Packaged Facts , the gluten-free marketplace reached $2.6 billion in 2010, marking a compound annual growth rate of 30% over the period between 2006 and 2010. The organization projects that U.S. sales of gluten-free products could exceed $5 billion by 2015.