NEW YORK, -- A decade ago, few had heard of gluten- free foods and celiac disease was barely on the radar. Now, with proposed FDA regulations for gluten-free labeling just around the corner and estimates of 3 million Americans battling celiac disease, this "niche" market is growing by leaps and bounds, with sales of gluten-free products expected to top $696 million in 2006, according to Gluten-Free Foods and Beverages, a new report from market research publisher Packaged Facts.
With anticipated growth of 25% annually over the next four years, Packaged Facts projects that the gluten-free market will reach $1.7 billion by the end of 2010 after beginning the decade at a mere $210 million in 2001.
Heavy internal and internet promotion among celiac support groups and the availability of gluten-free products at specialty and online stores have helped bring gluten-free into the limelight. Sales growth in
health/natural foods stores -- which at 40% of overall sales account for the lion's of the market -- as well as supermarkets and mass merchandisers is well noted, as many retailers have set aside entire store sections for gluten-free products.
"Gluten-free is not going away. Once a person is diagnosed with celiac disease the only way to prevent it is to stay on a gluten-free diet," notes Don Montuori, the publisher of Packaged Facts. "With as many as 97% of celiacs remaining undiagnosed, this remains a largely untapped market that will continue to evolve as more people are diagnosed and more innovative gluten- free products are made available."
Gluten-Free Foods and Beverages provides a comprehensive look at new gluten-free product trends, offers competitive profiles of industry trailblazers, examines the marketplace including retail and distribution, and highlights the issues faced by celiacs and other purchasers of gluten-free products. Priced at $2,500, this report can be purchased directly from Packaged Facts by visiting: