70% of Shoppers Have Recently Purchased Gluten Free

November 13, 2012

Gluten free foods are flying off the shelves – find out the top five reasons here.

Recent reports of the gluten free (GF) market growing to $4.2 billion had the Lempert Report wondering why, with an estimated one percent of the population (or about one in 133) necessitating the strict avoidance of gluten due to celiac disease, has the category seen such huge growth. In an exclusive SupermarketGuru.com  quick poll, a sweeping majority (71%), have purchased gluten free foods within the past three months, and 54% expect to continue to regularly buy GF foods.
Most believe consumers are buying gluten free products because they believe they are healthier, but the Lempert Report found that the top five reasons the consumer panel buys gluten free are “feel better eating gluten free,” “household member has celiac disease,” “allergic to wheat,” “helps digestion” and, “doctor or nutritionist suggested.”
Melinda Munro, a SupermarketGuru Facebook fan added, that, “Since it wasn't an option in the survey, I just wanted to note that the GF items I purchase are also free of other allergens. We don't buy them [because] they are gluten free but because they are also peanut and tree nut free.”
Gluten free foods are those that do not contain the protein gluten (and other reactive proteins) which exist in all forms of wheat including: faro, durum, semolina, spelt, kamut, and einkorn, and all related grains including: barley and rye. Gluten can be found of course in baked goods, pastas, as well as in unidentified starches, binders, fillers, and malts. It can even be found (as an additive or ingredient) in cold cuts, soups, soy sauce, teas, and jelly beans.
If gluten containing baked goods are off the menu for gluten free eaters, then what are the most popular gluten free foods? Pasta ranked number one at 67%, followed by bread, crackers, cold cereal, alternative baking flower, snack foods and cookies, all produced in the absence of gluten of course.
The supermarket is the primary source of gluten free foods for the consumer panel, as 60% site that’s where they make the majority of their purchases, followed by health foods stores at 18%. As the gluten free market continues to grow, it’s important for stores and CPGs to stay informed and knowledgeable about what gluten is and isn’t.
Didn’t have a chance to participate in this survey but would like to be included in future surveys? Join the SupermarketGuru consumer panel here.